Saturday, May 24, 2008

Yeah, Yeah, I know, this is cheating, but......

I know, posting a video clip is not considered a real blog post in some necks of the woods, but around these here parts I like to live on the edge. Actually, I have a few ideas for posts that I'm mulling around, but they are kind of heavy, and are going to take some sittin' down and concentrating. I think sittin' down and concentrating on a three day holiday weekend is just not cool. So I'm not gonna do it. No way, no how.

I'm actually off Ms Q's house to celebrate her birthday with The Tap Dancer in true decadent style. There will be drinking and feasting, and more drinking. I think we may even get a visit from political royalty. Needless to say there will be incriminating pictures later in the week. In the meantime, I'm posting a clip by one of my favorite artists, Tom Waits. This little bon mot is a classic. We like to quote bits and pieces of it whenever we can. Enjoy!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Dentist Visit - Beatnik Style

Dear dentist.Dr. Dungeon master of tooth decay.
Masked man with drill in hand.
Wielding whirring whining weapons of your trade.
Move to reshape the craggy white cityscape of

Novocaine- You sadistic bitch.
You stinging sticking stymied
harbinger of false relief.
Mask the hot horrible pain of
man's inhumanity to mouth.
Your fickle fading
leaves gaping gums of humanity screaming
in freshly drilled agony
praying for ibuprofen.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dirt Therapy

I am not one for yard work, of any kind. As I've said before, any kind of outdoor, pick up a shovel and dig, kind of activity was viewed as being cast down into the lowest level of hell. I must be growing up or something (don't tell anyone!), because on Saturday the strangest thing happened. I went out and worked in the yard, voluntarily, and liked it. Ol' Bill (my father) would be so proud.

It was completely a spur of the moment thing. I was sitting on the couch mid morning Saturday, sipping my third cup of coffee, and watching a movie I had DVR'd earlier in the week (those who know me will be surprised to hear it wasn't a death movie). As the movie finished and the house had gone quiet, I started feeling kind of melancholy. I can't put my finger on what the problem was exactly, it was more a general sense of being bored, lonely, and restless. Normally I would have followed that particular rabbit down the rabbit hole and spent the day listening to Sad Bastard music, watching more movies (death ones to boot),feeling sorry for myself, and eating things I shouldn't. Yeah yeah, I know, welcome to my inner sanctum of crazy.

But I didn't. I had been talking about turning an old wooden sandbox left by previous owners of the house into an herb garden for a while,like for three years, but had never gotten around to the actual doing. So this past Saturday, when faced with a long afternoon of throwing cheese doodles at my face, and wiping tears away from my eyes with orange stained fingers until I looked like some deranged crazy lady with a bad spray on tan, I decided to do something a little different.

I threw on some grubby clothes and went outside armed with mighty farmin' tools, and proceeded to lay waste to the weeds and small trees that had taken root in my sandbox. I then made the suburban pilgrimage to Home Depot for gardening soil and plants. I have to say the plant selection there is sad sad sad sad sad. It's the vegetative equivalent to a puppy mill. But I found a few quasi healthy plants and a butt load of potting/gardening soil, loaded up the Toyota and headed back to the homestead

Dirt Therapy. Who knew!? I had the best time pulling weeds, lugging crap around my yard, and digging my hands in cool, rich, pungent soil. I found my head clearing and my thoughts slowing down, until all that I was left with was me and my garden. I may have even talked to the plants as I carefully placed them into their new digs. When I had finished my body was stretched and tired, but in that buzzy energized way that makes you feel kind of high. All those feelings of purposelessness had disappeared, and I had spent the day getting closer to the person I want to be. I was a filthy, sweaty mess, but exceedingly pleased with myself; like a first grader bringing home her first attempt at writing her name.

"Lookie what I did!"

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Yep, She's at it Again

Maybe it's because its Spring and I've put away all my bulky invisibility sweaters (oh, how I miss them). Maybe its because I went clothes shopping this past weekend, and nothing fit well. Or maybe its because I weigh more right now than I ever have in my entire life-for-ever-and-ever-amen. The reality of that statement would normally send me down into the dark dank mold infested basement of depression, and I'm trying really hard not to go there this time, but I have to admit I'm standing at the top of the stairs as we speak.

So I joined Weight Watchers. Again; and if the number of times I've joined and quit were eggs, you could make a shit load of omelets with them. I'll admit my attitude regarding this program has never been stellar. For one thing, I think it feeds my tendency to obsess about food, and I have issues with their reliance on processed foods and artificial sweeteners. I also tended to go into meetings with a major chip on my shoulder, finding criticism in every well intentioned "so how did you do this week?", convinced I was surrounded by over zealous uber dieters looking to bolster their success by my failure. Paranoid much?

What's changed? Funny you should ask. I think my attitude has changed a little. I was sitting in that room, listening to all those women (and more than a few men) share their little victories as well as their lost battles,and each one of them was supported equally. I had an epiphany, right there in my uncomfortable folding chair. I thought to myself "self, maybe you're the critical over zealous uber dieter looking to bolster your failures by belittling other's successes." That's a hard thing to admit to yourself.Oh, and the terrifying number on the scale(which I know I shouldn't be focusing on, but I can't help it) has also provided a renewed sense of urgency to get off my ass and do something. Anything, for cripes sake!

I still have trepidations about being on WW again. I get so hyper focused on food, I worry that it will just feed into the whole compulsive eater's mindset, and I will end up quitting with a vengeance. I'm going to try a few things this time around to alleviate some of that. One of which is to have a day during the week where I just don't think about it at all. I'm not going to call it a cheat day, because I don't like the inference that I'm doing something "bad". I'm also going to refrain from talking about dieting and points and serving sizes ad nauseum both in real life and here. I have a tendency, once I've talked something up, to lose interest quickly and passive aggressively begin to sabotage myself. I recognize that is a completely adolescent reaction put in place by years of forced dieting, but that seems to be the way I roll. As for eating all that processed food and artificially sweetened crap,at least there I can make other choices.

I'm guardedly optimistic this go' round. I know getting healthy is something I have to do,so I will just take it slowly and be willing to give myself a break if I'm not perfection 100% of the time. Maybe this time I can avoid the dank dark basement, I so don't want to go there, there are big ass bugs down there.

I feel like an alcoholic giving up booze, and maybe that is actually what I am. Some sort of hopped up food junkie who has to join a 12 step program to kick her habit.

Hey man, know where I can score a candy bar? (Kidding..... sort of).

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Follow your bliss

I sat at my desk early Monday morning faced with yet another week of mind numbing tedium, close minded plebeian co-workers, and not nearly enough coffee in my system to handle any of it. It was at that bleary eyed moment that I was reminded of a conversation I had last week with a friend about being able to follow your bliss.

It’s an intriguing idea, and I’m always more than a little pea green when I run into or read about someone who is able to follow their inspired creative path unfettered by outside influences (read “the have to have job”). To be able to exclusively do that which makes them feel most fulfilled.

To even know what that bliss is has to be an enviable state. I struggle to find something in my life that I am that passionate about. Whether it be a desire to create that burns inside, or a passion for working with a particular group of people, or in a particular field of expertise; to have something in my life that inspires me in such a way that I absolutely cannot be a peace unless I am pursuing it. That is what I want to be when I grow up – inspired.

I hear writers in this very blogosphere say they have to write, cannot think of not writing, writing is like breathing for them. To not write on a daily basis would be unthinkable. I see artists and crafts people perfecting their skills, overjoyed at what possibilities a new tube of paint or a new swatch of fabric holds, and I am jealous.

I struggle to find my bliss. I have jumped from one creative endeavor to another. Wire wrapping, silver smithing, drawing, weaving, writing, knitting, and most recently web design. While each has been enjoyable, none have sparked that flame of obsession I crave,and none have held my attention long enough for me to become proficient in any of them.

I should probably take this moment to confess that I have not given any of these projects the time or focus needed to become skilled to the degree needed to take any of them beyond the realm of hobby. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe I’m just adverse to the hard part of the creative process. The working at it part, while ignoring the voice in my head that is telling me “this is not for you, you have no talent with this”. Do I need to be spending weeks, months, even years perfecting a skill or a craft before I know for sure? When do you know for sure? Shouldn't the joy come more easily? This feels suspiciously like my last relationship, and Jesus did that end badly! I guess the question I have is this; when does the inspiration needed to carry one through the hard part supposed to kick in? Could it be be I'm just not all that creative? Or am I really that lazy? Shit, that’s a depressing thought.

I will keep trying though,trying new things as they catch my attention. I may even go back and to pick up some previously failed attempts at past projects. The silver work specifically was something I felt like I didn't give enough time or effort to. Maybe it's not a specific something I need to find in order to be inspired. Maybe I need to inspire myself, find a way to tap into some yet to be discovered well of creative energy. At the very least I probably need to shut up,stop whining, and just go out and do.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bitch Slapped

Ohh it feels good to be staring at this blank blog post page again! It has been too long since my last post; it's odd, when I'm writing I'm bitching about how hard it is, and when I'm not, I'm wishing I was (of course I'm still bitching about how hard it is).

What is it about life that likes to periodically slap you on the ass (and not in a good way) just to make sure you still know who's boss?? I don't know, but this past week has been one of those ass slaps. It's been the invasion of the "Ists". First it was the Gynecologist and the get to know your choochie session, then it was the Dentist. I haven't been to one of those "Ists" in over 9 years; I'm here to tell you there was an obscene amount of scraping, and poking, and x-rays, and 6 cavities, and, and and. Oh, and did I mention my appointment was at 7:40 in the morning! WTF? Although I suppose the sleep deprived haze could be considered anesthesia.

The icing on the cake was the Veterinarian..uhh ist. My city boasts a renowned school of veterinarian medicine, but conversely nary a single vet worth their salt. I'm not joking, it's pathetic. I have Siamese cat with chronic gingivitis, and after over $700 bucks in vet visits, second opinions, tests and more tests, the best advice I got around here was to take her to the vet school and have ALL HER TEETH PULLED to the tune of 1600 smackers. No shit, that's what the final verdict was.

Luckily She who Tap Dances knows of a vet that has been taking care of her family's animals for over 20 years. Last year we brought Bella to him,he put her on anti-inflammatory meds and antibiotics to control the issue. But more to the point, he took care of months of worry. Until Tuesday.

Bella had been showing signs that her mouth was bothering her, and since Ms. B had a new set of kitty testicles to snip, we thought we would load up the Toyota with 4 cats in three carriers, and head down to Doc's. Did I mention he's 2 1/2 hours away? Well worth the trip, but the its always an epic adventure. This trip was no exception. Ohh yess, one of the 4 cats took a massive "holy crap I'm in a car crap". Now I'm not sure if it was the gawd awful smell or the ungodly hour (we left the house at 6:45am), but the combination spawned a massive attack of the giggles, and a creative brain storm that coined the new terms "Fear Crap","The Crap Fear River", and "The Tudball Massacree". Okay, it was funnier at the time. I swear. Shut up!

I honestly thought that once Doc took a look at Bella he would maybe have to clean her teeth, maybe even extract one, and we would continue on as before. That was not to be. When we got back from lunch to pick up the herd he was shaking his head. My heart sank. It turns out Bella has cancer. Squamous Cell Carcinoma to be more to the point. I stood in that exam room as explained how he burned the tumor off her gums with some sort of laser and cauterized the hell out of it. I managed not to cry as he told me he got it all and he's not willing to give up yet, but that I had to understand that this was an aggressive cancer, it would eventually return, and it was terminal.

So I loaded my extremely doped up cat back into the car and we headed home a tad more sober than we were on the way there, and our conversations took a darker turn. The rest of the night I nursed my little "bean" back to consciousness, and leaked tears all over her fur.

I'm feeling more philosophical about things now. The chronic gingivitis indicated a suppressed immune system, and I knew that she was never going to be an old cat, but this cancer thing is a little more immediate than the gingivitis. I'm optimistic though, maybe even overly so, she's young, otherwise healthy, and a serious spit fire. She was wobbling around the house Tuesday night, fighting off the drugs and insisting on eating her evening meal. So maybe she can fight this too. I'm hopeful, anyway.

I know, it's silly to get this wrapped up in a pet, but I'm one of those people who do just that. I can't help it, and I'm not really sure I'd want to change it. There is something very fulfilling and soul soothing to care for an animal, and be the recipient of their particular brand of devotion and unconditional love. It's hard when you lose a pet; it's like, in some small way, like losing a family member, and sometimes I wonder if it's worth it. But then, when I'm having a really bad day, one of them will curl up next to me on the couch, squint up at me and purr, and I can't imagine not having them around.

So, the invasion of the "Ists" is over for now, so I can resume writing my piffle,(I know you've all missed it. You know you have. Shut up!) and catch up with all my favorite bloggin' babes who I've missed this week more than I can express.