Sunday, October 30, 2011

FOUR BOOKS

BOOK ONE
Innocent Idiocy
The Child
There was so very much to suppress and resolve in my extreme childhood. And there was no help. No counsel. I was required to appear groomed and well behaved at all times no matter the circumstances of the day. Said circumstances included rape, molestation, bullying. And that was from adults as well as children. BOOK ONE is about learning how to live with the idea that I deserved it and others deserved better, without knowing exactly why.

BOOK TWO
Idiotic Acting Out
The Textbook Young Adult
These are the years I threw myself at things. And was really good at all of them. Enough to craft the promise of a career, only to walk away and throw myself at something else at which excelling also occurred. None of which were heart callings. And the men. So many of them. I walked through them like a torch through kindling. Still, all the while, quietly holding dear a false knowledge that I deserved it and others deserved better, without knowing exactly why.

BOOK THREE
The Threshing
The Over the Hill Come to Jesus
The last marriage. The lawsuit(s). The house(s). The death threats. The murder attempts. The mentally ill spouse who denied his mentally illness. The neighborhood felon (unlawful restraint) and the new neighborhood's resident pedophile, drug dealer with the insane boyfriend who broke into cars and houses. Walking away from a hugely successful job. Almost finding my heart's work only to have it ripped away by a tall steeple sham of a greedy money obsessed pastor. All of which was blamed on me, which I was beginning to think was not deserved and that I probably deserved better but didn't exactly know why.

BOOK FOUR
Cutting the Restraints
The Very Very Late Blooming of an Old Woman
This started in BOOK THREE wherein the child was born. The child the demanded I become who I am supposed to be because that is what a child deserves. The cutting away of all the killing weights of BOOK THREE. The finding of my voice, still angry, but very true and saying what is so. The leap into the unknown void of no income, no faith, no plush toys, because this is the only place where the demons can be mercilessly killed. Because I will have better, whether I deserve it or not.

And all throughout these overly dramatic, and painfully narcissistic books is killer humor and some very repeatable and unrepeatable jokes.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

FIVE FOODS

A client and I had a "cross purpose" moment a few weeks back. He wanted to deduct a number of expenses that the IRS would have disallowed. Things such as the cable TV, the gardener, his kids and wife's clothing and the kids babysitter (who is an undocumented worker). Now don't get me wrong. I don't sign a damned thing. He is the client. He can put whatever he wants into his business books. I am not paid to judge, and honestly I don't. Pretty much everyone with buttloads of cash and in "that" lifestyle all try this. But I have to tell the truth. Which was "Client, I will be deeee-lighted to categorize these expenses wherever you want. No problem-o there. However, I must tell you that they would not stand up to an IRS audit." And he became upset with me. After going back and forth, where he kept trying to manipulate me into verbalizing that it was absolutely hunky dory and allowable to deduct all these unallowable things - which I quite nicely and politely would not - and in fact, I kept telling him I'd be more than happy to put them wherever he would like me to put them .....well, he said that of course he was not trying to "cook" the books. Which I had never ever ever said.

Which leads to food. And the diet I've been on for far far too long.

There's more than one kind of food. I'm talking about spirit food. Here are five spirit foods. Some I will be giving up. Some I will be switching to.

1. Stress - I eat this every day. Too much. Stress from not enough income. Stress from an adolescent son who, while his school has many many really good things about it, gives him ridiculously too much homework without helping him to learn how to strategize and organize it. Stress from an aging mom who can't take as good care of herself and has become far far too sedentary for her health. Stress from having to be up at 5 a.m. and on the go until 10 or so. Stress from not having a really really close friend or partner for support. I chow on this all day, every day. Not tasty.

2. The sense of "entitlement" of others - I see this in all strata of social "castes" if you will. The twist of the American dream from "you can be and do whatever you choose" to "I can have whatever I want even if that means I take it away from you." This has "trickled down" from Wall Street, to Main Street to families. It's served up on dinner plates across the land, mine included. The American way of life has not matured. It has mutated into a non-nutritional diet of self aggrandized narcissism. I even see it in myself occasionally - at which time I go into the rest room and try to vomit it back up. Yes, I am an "entitlement" bulimic. It is delicious. Like French Fries and apple fritters are delicious. But oh so very bad for one.

3. "I am right and you are wrong" snacks. Especially with an adolescent who is in the throes of stretching the honesty envelope and occasionally ripping it wide open. Especially other parents whose children have never made a mistake in their entire lives. Especially in business and workplace so-called "leaders" who walk about with bloodied noses and shredded skin from all their very human and forgiveable f**k-ups, who cannot own the truth of their mistakes to save their lives. The extraordinary volume of their crunchy, crispy, munchy snacking on this is deafening.

4. Here is one of my new foods - My truth. Told honestly. As kindly as I can, but if I'm pissed, I'm gonna tell you. I've done that several times. Why didn't I do this before? Easy, because I was sure I would be killed. Because when I was a little youngster that's what my dad said he would do if I spoke my truth as I experienced it. And not only have I not been killed, but it's far far easier to wade through the detritus of the disingenuous, white-washed bullsh*t that flows so thickly these days. And I find I'm fuller much faster.

5. I eat less patience. There is such a thing as getting fat on patience. Too much patience can become enabling. Too much patience can become indulgence. Too much patience for others and not enough insistence of oneself can cause one to lose so much weight that one might disappear altogether. So I try to plate it up where it's appropriate. But when it begins to be an unhealthy amount, I set it aside. The funny thing about this is that it causes one to grow more substance as a result. And this is a good thing.

That's my banquet. Soul food for now. Dessert will be grace. I am sure of it.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

7 WANTS

First there are the 7 deadly selfish wants:


1. To be able to go back in time and change some things
2. To be drop dead gorgeous and have everyone give me what I ask for without giving me any grief about it or saying no the first 183 times
3. To be ridiculously, fabulously rich
4. To have size 6 feet
5. To be able to read a 350 page book in 10 minutes and remember it
6. To be married to Hugh Jackman (I've broken up with George Clooney)
7. To have the leisure to write, draw, craft all day long, every day

Then there are the 7 unselfish wants:


1. To go back in time to keep Diana out of that car
2. To be drop dead gorgeous and have everyone give me the food, water and supplies I ask for to send to starving people without giving me any grief about it or saying no the first 183 times
3. To be ridiculously, fabulously rich so that I can set up educational foundations across the land for students AND teachers
4. To have size 6 feet without gimpy dance and ice skating injuries so I can hike into the places I send the food, water and supplies to help the folks who need it, without my feet giving out
5. To be able to read a 350 page book in 10 minutes and remember it, so I can learn all kinds of things going on in the world to be a better informed citizen
6. To be married to Hugh Jackman so that George can finally get over me
7. To have the leisure to write, draw and craft all day long on days I have off between all the above and to meet wonderful creative other folks and have lovely times doing same with them.

Then there are the realistic 7 wants:


1. To change some things from "ugh" to "ahhhhh" in this life henceforth
2. To learn how to get what I need from others by asking authentically
3. To be ridiculously, fabulously rich
4. To find comfortable shoes for my big ole feet that look hot
5. To be able to read a 350 page book in a couple days and remember it
6. To be able to fantasize about Hugh Jackman while I enjoy real life men with an open mind. But not too open. Just sayin'.
7. To have the leisure to write, draw, craft all day long, every day and to meet wonderful creative other folks and have lovely times doing same with them.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

8 FEARS

1. I fear that if I tell you, a Google spider will carry the information to a room far away where a thick bespectacled computer nerd will interpret the information and either sell it to a company advertising wall insulation, or a government agency who will then mistake me for a Lithuanian spy.

2. Having to repeat middle school. Oh. Look. I am. Only there's waaaaaaay more homework.

3. I fear making homemade bread - that the yeast I have is expired and it won't rise, like the South again.

4. I fear the number two. I don't know why. I just always have. It's one or three for me. Never two.

5. I fear the always moving, always hiding mini black hole that hovers about me, constantly stealing my keys and then laughing ironically.

6. I fear waking up and having six toes on each foot. I would have to buy all new shoes then, as none of mine would fit.

7. I fear remarrying and being introduced to my new MIL, only to discover that she is my last MIL.

8. I fear finishing this. It's over far too soon.

Friday, August 12, 2011

GONE SHOPPING

It had been 25 years since she'd set foot inside a shopping mall. And it would have been the 27 more till her passing, if she'd had her druthers. But she was a good mama. She was a caring mama. And she would have been terminally guilt ridden otherwise.

Though it wasn't all her doing. The gypsy witch told her that the only solution to her son's problem would be found at the Spencer Gifts inside the Two Highway Super Outlet Mall just off the Hwy. 37. She would have brushed off the gypsy witch as a gold digging phony, but the witch knew about the ripped underpants. And no one could have known about those except her.

Damn! I've gotten ahead of myself again. I touch the floor with my head in obeisant apology. Such a bad habit.

Okay, Mama is Miranda Libbit. She's a widow woman who raised her only child, a boy, from the age of 13. Though, truth to tell, she'd raised him mostly herself all before that. Jasper, her son, is now 18 and in need of a good woman. He has to at least find one to escort to his senior prom where, it is extremely likely as they are told, he is to be named homecoming king, if he has a "hot date."

Now, after spending the high end of 5 figures to send this child to school for a first class edjooookayshun, Miranda was not about to sacrifice the great honor of his being named homecoming king!! Especially considering how she had completely blown off her own prom plus the graduation to spend those evenings being head groupie at her boyfriend's rock concerts....back in the day.

She'd consulted Madame Esmerelda, who told her to come here. And now here she was. Oh, the ripped underpants? Miranda had ripped her son's lucky skivvies just that very morning in a fit of frustration and had no idea how to tell him. What with finals and such coming up. (Not to mention that he had worn them since 5th grade and they were really, quite decidedly thin).

Definitely a bad day.

But suddenly....there....there at the Spencer Gifts cash register..there was the most enchanting creature Miranda had ever seen. She was luminous. She was radiant. She appeared to be disease free!!

...Miranda quickly grabbed a joke rubber boob t-shirt and headed for the register, thinking and planning all the way.

.......(Maybe more?? Maybe not)

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Life's Banquet

The wasp eats the living caterpillar
while the caterpillar peacefully blinks
out of existence.
Never protesting,
Never struggling.
At one with his fate.



The dragonfly eats the living wasp
munching like a socialite at a cocktail party
as the birdies chirp
The wasp never protests,
The wasp never struggles
At one with his fate



The spider eats the dragonfly
wrapping and wrapping the leftovers into a cocoon
after devouring the juicy head
The dragonfly wonders if the spider
will enjoy the wasp
and the caterpillar
as well,
before dying.

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Blogger Anonymous

Hi I'm PG and I am a blogger.

HI PG!

It's been three months since my last post. And even that was just a lame link to an Easter like song.

*APPLAUSE*  GOOD FOR YOU FOR BEING REAL!

I haven't blogged here because my life has been hard.

AWWWWW. .....YOUR LIFE HAS BEEN HARD? BULLSHIT, YOU DON'T LIVE IN THE SUDAN SO WHAT'S YOUR  BEEF?......HEY WHINER, YOU'VE GOT A PLACE TO LIVE AND A CAR......

Hard is relative, I know. But for me it's been hard.

YEAH. IT'S HARD FOR EVERYBODY. JOIN THE CLUB.

I'm just trying to tell you why --

LIKE WE GIVE A F**K. HAVE YOU BEEN BEATEN NEAR TO DEATH?

No, but--

DO YOU LIVE ON THE STREETS?

You know I don't, but---

YOU STILL HAVE YOUR SON WITH YOU?

Thank goodness, yes, but---

ALL THESE "BUT'S". WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU, A MOTORBOAT?? BUT BUT BUT.....

.......and she slinks quietly to her seat, shutting up and sucking it up. Because she is a good girl.



Saturday, March 26, 2011

DAILY CHUCKLE

It's a Saturday morning without Wonderboy. He's with his dad today. My mom and I enjoy our breakfast over the morning paper. Usually bacon and eggs. 


The conversation leading up to the chuckle is interesting in itself, and subject for a separate post. Maybe. 


It led up to my mom saying, with a laugh ".....and my little mommy.....every dinner time she would lead grace and use the opportunity to try to change our opinions on things by listing them in the prayer and asking God to set us straight.." 


I got this picture in my mind of my Grandmother, a single mother, standing at the head of the table with her two daughters and one son seated, hands folded over their dinner plates, listening as their mom goes on and on and on and on......
"Dear Heavenly Father, I just know you'll show Charlie that smoking cigarettes is an invitation to the devil to fill his body with desecration....." (Charlie started smoking at 8 years old....)....."And I know you'll explain to Virginia Lee and Mary Ann that boys can wait until they've memorized the New Testament...." 


......and then they finally eat at 9:18 p.m., the dinner cold, immediately followed by dishes and bed time.


I can just picture my Grandma, an amazing little woman who re-defined the parameters of "steel magnolia", standing at that table, smiling with ebullient love and grace as she created the ultimate  "....just wait till your father gets home..." and my mom and her siblings sitting there, taking it in. Rebelliously ignoring it at first, but years and years later, actually expressing their attention by living up to her heavenly exhortations. 


Oh, if only I could show you my little granny. She was a hoot. A very canny hoot at that.

Friday, March 25, 2011

FRIDAY FIVE: SPIRITUAL PRACTICES



Mary Beth writes:

"Following the image above, I like to think of the spiritual disciplines as vessels that prepare us to ride the wave of God's amazing love and presence in a new way.

For today's Friday Five, please share with us five spiritual practices or disciplines from your experience. They can be ones that you have tried and kept up with, tried and NOT kept up with, ones that you flirt with at various times, or even practices that you have tried and found are definitely NOT your cup of tea. Let us know what's worked for you...and not."


1. Every night I end the day in prayer. Every morning I begin the day in prayer. I always begin my prayer with "I am so sorry to be such a disappointment to you." I say this because things in my life have been relentlessly difficult. Which is a huge disappointment to me, so I can only imagine how God feels about it. And then I feel ever so much better. And then I pray for friends who need help and healing and maybe some potatoes, or a nice pasta dinner. 


2. Whenever someone is thoughtlessly rude to my face (and these days it happens at least two or three times a day), I take a deep breath and an imaginary step back to regard them as having nothing to do with me aside from sharing a ridiculous human experience. Then I am able to inject humor and maybe even some compassion into the scenario. Though there is one situation where I am finding this enormously difficult.


3. I consider my Facebook alter ego a spiritual practice. If the girlfriend goes viral, as I'm told by some that she will, I will do my best to remember this.


4. Sunday School. I have tried in more than one place to get my son into a Sunday School program and then support him there. I cannot tell you how abysmal and idiotic they have been to date. We like our current church, but the Sunday school program has been run by an untrained mom as youth "pastor" (not ordained), and her kids bully the other kids, while they make crafts and learn how to do some songs in "sign language." So he sits in the sanctuary with his friend and her family and us and plays games on his Nintendo or iPod. Yes, I am one of those moms. At least he listens to the sermon.


5. Humor. I find humor a spiritual practice for me. If I can elicit an honest laugh, I have transformed a moment into something better. By "honest laugh",  there are rules: 1. not at anyone's expense; 2. not mean, no mean jokes; 3. it must lighten the mood in a positive way; 4. folks must walk away feeling better. 


I have been remiss on Bible studies. I am hoping to start a new class soon. But I am really really tired right now. So pardon me while I catch a nap. Which I find to be another really good spiritual practice.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

GIVE 'EM A BREAK!

Kids don't catch much of a break any more. They just don't.

You realize this likely means that when WE are old and decrepit, they are going to make us stay up until 10:30 p.m. filling out forms in order to fill one prescription. And then return it to us marked "Incomplete." and "try to be neater."

It's coming. Oh yeah.

Friday, March 11, 2011

OH BROTHER (and sister) WHERE ART THOU?

On September 11 of 1992 I was on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai. It was the last day of a two week Hawaiian vacation that my now ex-husband and I had enjoyed. We were awakened at about 4 a.m that morning by a hotel staffer.

Hurricane Iniki, which had been charted to miss the island completely, had changed course during the night and was now headed straight for Kauai's south shore, where we now sat rubbing the sleep out of our eyes.

Such a giant storm for such a tiny island. See where it says "Lihue?" That's exactly where we went after leaving the hotel.

I bring this up today because of the monster earthquake and tsunamis that hit Japan this morning.



I listened to the news most of the day. How countries as far away as ours had issued tsunami warnings. Santa Cruz, here on my own coast, actually had some damage from aftermath tsunamis. A friend this morning asked me if I was OK with it and, being a total goob (sorry, Mindy, I completely misunderstood because I am a goob), thought she was talking about my recent bad mood of the week past. Anyway, the other thread that caught my ear in the reporting today was how the Japanese people were not panicked and freaking out. They were prepared. They are helping each other. The government has stepped in and is actively supporting the efforts of the people.

And this struck a chord in my memory of Hurricane Iniki.

I was at the Kauai War Memorial during and after the hurricane. It turned out to be the best shelter on the island. The first night it was full of tourists, about 20 percent of them Japanese. The very next morning after the hurricane, which had ended at about 8:30 p.m. the night before, the Japanese people were herded together, lined up and bussed out of the shelter in school busses. They were taken to, I believe it was a military dock. Not sure. But the Japanese government had immediately dispatched two naval vessels to pick up their citizens and take them home. The rest of us cooled our heels for three more days, scrubbing toilets and eating powdered eggs, after the Taco Bell and other defrosting restaurants' food was eaten.

The only reason we were flown out first was because we were in the best shelter on the island and they needed it for the residents.

I have to say that after this and after hearing about the gentle spirit of the Japanese people in the aftermath of this current disaster, that Japan seems to take far better care of itself and its citizens than we do here in the States. (citing our own hurricanes and their aftermaths here).

This further led me to reflect on how, as a church global, we have failed in inspiring this same kind of outreach and care after disasters, in our fellow citizens. Much less our own government who goes only so far, then stands back behind the fence of bureaucracy.

We have pockets of kindness and certainly many groups who raise lots of money, and show up for the cameras and sound bites. But only a few who steadfastly hang in until the last bit is mopped up and the last boo boo is bandaided. And so often, it could be much more help than it is.

Maybe it's because there are so many more of us than of them and their number is easier to manage. I have no idea. I only know it made me wish for this kind of a society everywhere. A society and government that drops absolutely everything and rushes in to help and stays until the job is done.

These "every person for themselves" "Best just take care of yourself, no one else is gonna help you" and "The Lord helps those who help themselves" attitudes are plain mean, in my opinion. Cold and hard-assed.  I don't find it "tough" at all. I find it cowardly.

No, I don't want to move to Japan. Not a big fan of sushi, and those clog shoes kill my feet. But I sure admire their spirit in the wake (you should pardon the pun) of this disaster today. Oh that we could learn some of that over here.

Cause I do believe we're going to need it soon.

Monday, March 07, 2011

SLOGGING THROUGH OATMEAL

Lately I feel as if I am climbing out of a hole with sheer vertical walls, greased with Crisco and without handholds.

Up at 5 and on my feet till about 10:00 with maybe an hour to sit and chill with Wonderboy. I still can't find enough time to get work to pay for things, so by the time Wonderboy is out of high school I will have burned through all my savings. Yes, I know I should be grateful to have savings when so many do not. And I am. Quite grateful in my quivering anticipation of being broke at a specified date. The good news is that when that happens I will likely have decades of living ahead of me! 

Then there's the "little things" of Chinese torture -
~Having an interesting conversation with a teacher at son's school, who happens to be male. Another mom comes up, interrupts with "So how's your WIFE who you've been married to for what now, 25 YEARS"...(meaningful look over my head). Golly, so that's what that big honking gold band on his left hand meant! I was just about to ask if he'd won that in a Cracker Jacks box right after we finished talking string theory. 
~Talking to another parent at school, who happened to be a man as well. His hair was growing out and I told him it suited him. Yes, those were the "hey sailor", come hither words I used. "It suits you." Then he tells me that his wife told him if he ever gets a girlfriend, he can bring her home to "share the dream." Which related to our conversation much the way pickles relate to toe jam. (well, unless you like that kind of sandwich). 

Apparently I am now the school "femme fatale". Which is hysterically funny. An overweight, nearly 60, down on her luck grey haired woman is a "femme fatale." I must sweat me out some killer pheromones. I must remember not to shower too very often before picking Wonderboy up to prowl the men, and smile threateningly at the womens. 

Between taking care of my son and my almost 85 year old mom, plus poor job prospects and now a Harper Valley PTA reputation, goodness, it's a miracle I get anything done at all, what with my prancing about flirtatiously talking science and haircuts with unsuspecting, vulnerable menfolk. 

There are other reasons. But I shall keep them to myself. I've whined enough. Besides, you might think I'm hitting on you. 

Oy. People can be such asshats. Lord forgive them. They know not what they eschew. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

FRIDAY FIVE: WORDS

Jan at Rev Gals is sharing her church's Sunday School curriculum on "Words", where each week someone shares a new word that expresses their passion or interest.  She says:


"For this Friday Five, please list five words that identify your passions, spirituality, and/or life. Describe as much or as little as you wish."


1. Sharing
Share what you have when you can.





2. Hope
Look on the bright side.  It will keep you from spiraling down.





3. Humor
It's never inappropriate.  (see number 2 above)


And for me.....




4. Endurance
Katherine Hepburn said "The secret of life is to endure." I believe she was correct.







5. Motherhood
It saves/d me from myself. Best gift EVER.











Monday, February 14, 2011

PANTYPALOOZA!!!



Inspired by my pal Mindy, I have participated this year in the 6th annual Pantypalooza!!

This morning, after I drop Wonderboy off to school, I will be delivering these to our local women's shelter:


There are eight gift bags and two back packs chock full of lovely items for the ladies to use and enjoy. These are gifts from me, my mom and the people from my son's school and from our church. Isn't that so cool? On Valentine's Day we get to deliver gifts that will help to ease the grief of 10 women out there who so need it!

Pantypalooza.....It's not just about the panties....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

39% FULL

My earthlink account tells me how full my mail box account is. For years it hopped up and down between 5% and15%.

Then came the divorce and the e-mail account hacking and the host of problems inherent thereto. And the account hovered at 26% full.

Now in the aftermaths of more than one anxiety and lactate acid producing episode of life crap, it bounces between 36% and 39%. Got up to 41% at one point.

And I get chest pains and am tired a lot.

I look at my earthlink account and sometimes liken it to a sort of "life used up" meter. How do I get it back down to it's clear and perky 5%? Rather like myself.

I pray every morning to start the day. I thank God for all the great things around me and great friends, and I end with the Lord's Prayer. But for awhile now I've begun my prayer apologizing to God for being such a disappointment. I suspect it's a sideways way of apologizing to myself for disappointing myself for ending up in such a state.

Then my wonderful friend T reminds me that I am too hard on myself and I'm doing far better than I think. And I feel better. Though I do believe I could do better still.

The funny thing is since I've been apologizing for being such a huge disappointment, I am feeling lighter and better. So while my earthlink account stubbornly sticks at 39%, I am feeling more like 28% and shrinking.

Apologies to all of you who might still come here and check in and also many thanks for hanging in. Here's wishing you a 5% kind of day.

Friday, January 07, 2011

FRIDAY FIVE: HOLIDAY REDUX EDITION



Kathryn at Rev Gals writes:

".....to give us all a record and partly to give us all a chance to reflect on the 2010 Holiday Season now that we are out of it, I ask you this:"

1) What food item was one of your favorites this year - a definite keeper?
The Bruschetta my 12 year old son made. Full of fresh basil and garlic. And such festive colors!
2) Was there a meal or party or a gathering that stands out in your mind from this most recent holiday season?
No. Because 2010 was such an excruciatingly difficult ordeal, we were just hoping to get through without more shoes dropping around us. Plus my son was sick all week.
3) Were you involved in a jaw-dropper gift? Were you the giver or recipient or an on-looker?
That I got gifts was a jaw-dropper. This was the first year in many that I received more than two gifts. Though, my main pleasure has always been to watch my son open his, I would still feel a bit left out. But NOT this year....Oh no!!! What fun. 
4) Was there at least one moment where you experienced true worship?
I have not enjoyed an experience of true worship in a long time. I travel the vast dry desert currently.
5) What is at least one thing you want to make sure you do next year?
Remain above-ground.
BONUS: What is something you absolutely must remember to do differently... or not at all!
OR: If you just want to sum it all up in a few words, that will work too.
Hmmmm. Next year I want to put up the outside lights I did not have time to put up this year.