Archive for January, 2009

An Oldie, But Dummy

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

This post originally ran in my “other blog,” and I avoided re-reading it for years because a San Diego journalist who obviously had too much time on her hands and felt she had to comment on a blog that had no readers and no direction and wasn’t even newsworthy anyway, happened to review it, and was so bitingly sarcastic and dismissive, that I still have blocks. Anyway, re-posting it now will be healing and let’s face it, time-saving.

 

p.s. That bitchy journalist had a point.

 

p.p.s. I kind of miss the days where I just wrote from the butt and didn’t worry so much about “sentence structure,” and “a point.”

 

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I have to prepare for my Writer’s Group now, so that means I am thinking about all the men I dated in my life. (Procrastination is a many-armed monster.)

 

I’m going to start enumerating and describing some of these guys. Because I suddenly seem to have entered a dimension where time stands still and stuff like eating, cleaning and clearing my calendar for a good barf [editor’s note: I was pregnant] have no meaning.

 

Let’s start with 1991:

 

Kurt

Time period: 1991-93

Looked like: Richard Gere. Kinda.

Personal style: T-shirts, jeans, tennis shoes, hairy chest/back.

Personality: Dopey. Occasionally unintentionally witty. Cheater.

Memorable date: Denim n’ Diamonds in L.A. He said I made his “loins quiver.”

In a nutshell: Serial cheater. Lots of break-ups and get back-togethers. Broke my heart. Ensuing distress caused me to lose about 25 pounds.

 

Jeff

Time period: 1992

Looked like: Emilio Estevez. Sorta.

Personal style: Polo. Chino shorts. Low sports socks and trendy tennis shoes.

Personality: Nice. Gentlemanly. Boring.

Memorable date (the one and only): Trip to the L.A. Zoo, back to his place for countless hours of sitting in front of the TV, dinner and a movie (Scent of a Woman).

In a nutshell: Vanilla.

 

Evan

Time period: 1992

Looked like: David Copperfield gone bad.

Personal style: Dress pants. Silky shirts.

Personality: Showman. Creepy.

Memorable date: Mountain biking at Las Virgenes Canyon.

In a nutshell: Icky. Reminded me of a Peeping Tom. Always had an agenda. Manipulative.

 

Brian

Time period: 1992-93

Looked like: 80’s pop rock band front man. Maybe like lead singer of A-Ha, but with longer hair. Or guy from Mike & The Mechanics. But w/out the mustache/beard.

Personal style: Oxfords. Jeans

Personality: Earnest. Sweet. Boring.

Memorable date: Lasagna at his mom’s house

In a nutshell: He was a goodie. Just wasn’t a thrill ride. That eventually decided it.

 

I could do this all day! Later, I’ll pick back up with 1992! But don’t worry! I met The Rock in 1997, so there is an end in sight. Plus, 1992-93 was by far my best season.

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Hey, I’ve got an idea. Let’s make this a meme!

What? Oh OK. No, no that’s fine, whatever.

 

Where I Learned To Be Sweet

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

It’s time,” my mom announced at the dinner table, and I knew just what she meant. For months, she’d insisted I look for a job and that evening over the phone, her church buddy told her the Jelly Bowl Bakery needed a counter girl. Being 15, I felt sure I’d never get a work permit, but somehow it never mattered, and so a few days later, I applied for the job.

 

The bakery’s owner, a drained mother of two with frizzy hair zinging from beneath her hat, and red eyes, and clogged pores, took my application and told me right then that I could start tomorrow. Her husband, similarly as exhausted seeming, grunted, and that was the only sound I ever heard from him my entire employment.

 

My schedule included weekends, and I spent all day Saturday and Sunday taking orders, filling ice cream cones, showing cake designs, packing donuts, and sweeping sprinkles. After the shop closed, I mopped the floors, cleaned the back kitchen, washed the baking equipment, took out the garbage, scooped buttercream frosting from enormous vats and into pastry bags I stacked in one of two stainless steel fridges. I remember thinking that I did the work of three people, and I still think I’m right.

 

Throughout my illustrious employment, my boss remained exhausted and pissy and stressed and hormonal. I hated staying so late on Saturdays because it cut into my social time, and friends would routinely meet me in the shop after closing to help with my chores. I regularly worked two hours past close just to finish the extras my boss put into my expansive job description.

 

I knew the shop owner didn’t care for me much. After all, I had some life left in me, and hers was all but sucked out. The contrast must have killed her. Her husband lurked in the background, and seemed a nice enough man, but around her, his mouth stayed sealed. I looked forward to her absence from the bakery because her presence lent it such despair, and when she was gone, I’d dance with the mop or chatter to myself.

 

On the nights I worked, I was permitted to take some extra pastries home (the others went to a rescue mission, picked up by a disheveled volunteer), and one evening when I thought I was alone in the shop, I preemptively shoved a cupcake into my mouth, positioning myself on my knees and over the garbage can because goldangit, I was sick of sweeping up sprinkles.

 

I recall the speed with which I wolfed that cupcake down, because I wanted to finish it before Soul Sucky Drainersen came back, and about 5 seconds after my first bite, I stood up, satisfied, to wipe the remaining non-pareils into the trash. Of course, as you might guess, I was not in the least bit alone and I looked up to see Draino’s husband staring at me, usually glued mouth agape. To his credit, he pretended nothing happened, but I knew deep within my muscle fibers, that it was the beginning of the end.

 

Sure enough, about a week later, I’d left the front door unlocked all night after joining my waiting friends outside the shop. I didn’t even look back as I scrambled into the car that was to whisk me from the bereft Jelly Bowl Bakery and to a lively high school football game. Of course, I didn’t do it on purpose, and was sorry to hear that a bum had wandered into the store and helped himself to a doughnut or two.

 

i never even knew it happened until my next shift five days later, when, after not seeing my time card in its usual place, I asked Draino about it. I believe she actually felt a little bad letting me go, but we both knew it was the best thing for me. I don’t know about her, though, I think she’d run out of best things a long while back.

 

And for the record, doughnuts don’t always make you happy.

 

PROMPTuesday #40: Phoning It In

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

So tonight I basically asked a man why he was in a wheelchair.* If “basically” were “I did.” And since I’m still toothpicking toenail shards from my teeth, I’m phoning in an easy PROMPTuesday this morning.

 

This week, tell us about your first job. As I recently twittered, I worked at the Jelly Bowl Bakery in bucolic Buffalo Grove, Ill., and will write further about this learning and buttercreamy experience tomorrow, but for now, I want to hear about you. Tell me why you no longer have the use of your legs.

 

Oops! It appears there was a probing question file mix-up! Sorry! Just ignore me and instead write about your first job. If you want to fictionalize it, all the better.

 

But first, if you’re new, read a bit about PROMPTuesdays here.

 

Meanwhile, if you care to observe PROMPTuesday’s rules, here they are:

 

  • Try to write your entry in 10 minutes. This encourages top-of-mind, primal thinking before the ego and judgmental brain kick in. Just set a timer, make your kid count to 600 slowly, whatever. It’s an honor system. And I trust you.
  • Aim for 250 words or less.
  • Please have fun. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Together, let’s rediscover the simple joy in the writing process.
  • Post your submission in the comments OR post in your blog and leave a link to your blog in the comments.

 

Wanna catch up on the PROMPTuesdays archive? It’s here.

 

*It was a plane crash. Good thing it wasn’t a traumatic reason or anything. Don’t they make lobotomy pills for stupid idiots with inappropriate question disorder?

 

Swap Mamas!

Monday, January 26th, 2009

My bloggy friend Mommy Pie just unveiled her new social networking site, called Swap Mamas, and I wish I would have thought of it. Basically, if you have baby and kid items you no longer use, you can trade them at Swap Mamas…AND if you find something you CAN use, you get it! She’s got categories for costumes and books and toys and everything under the sun. Check it out…it’s a wonderful way to connect and save money.

SoCal Bloggers?

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

If you’re in San Diego (or anywhere in SoCal for that matter) and want to meet up socially with a few of us bloggers, e-mail me for deails! We will be meeting for dinner/drinks in the Del Mar area on Friday, January 30 at 6:30PM.

 

All For You

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

I would like you to know that in my continued quest to make this blog smell less like ass, I am committed to my new and improved “Shake It Up, Dammit” Project.

 

And today, what this essentially means is that I am going to Trivia Night at Shakespeare’s Pub, when all I really want to do is fry garlic, smear it on stuff, and watch Forensic Files until it’s time for South Park.

 

But no. Instead, I am zipping up my sorry and prolific bupple into a pair of seen-their-day jeans and boning up on the Opium Wars. Also, I cannot guarantee that I will be able to answer any trivia questions because although it used to be my favorite thing, playing trivia requires one to have an operable and remembering brain. Two areas where I am deficient these days.

 

But still, I am going to do this thing. For you, for me, for liberty and justice for all.

 

Wish my bupple luck.

 

PMS: Large and In Charge; An Exegesis in Three Mostly True Parts

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

Part 1: The Prologue

(Thursday, Jan. 22, 9PM. I am at a Cocktails in Historic Places event, sitting alone at a table, nursing wine and texting The Rock. Please note that I did not publish his responses, requiring you to use your super powers of deduction to fill in the blanks.

Footnote: Rhonda is The The Rock’s ex-girlfriend from 15 years ago that he hasn’t talked to or seen for going on 10 years.

 

So he says.)

 

You home?

 

Today is Rhonda’s birthday.

 

Nothin’

 

No duh.

 

I am hungry, r u?

 

OK, u texting acronym aficiando

 

No…just hungry

 

Part II: The Progression

(January 23, the afternoon. Sitting at kitchen table engaged in a one-way Twitter breakdown. Note how I talk exclusively about edible consumables, with the exception of the two seconds I stole from my busy food schedule for odor and current event acknowledgement.)

 

Wo

 

Part III: The Free Fall

(Jan. 23, later in the afternoon. Again, I am texting The Rock. Again, I will only publish my side of the conversation to protect the ignorant.)

 

Please come home. I feel weird.

 

No. Existentially.

 

I just ate 15 Pamprin with chocolate sauce. It’s all going to be OK.

 

Can we go Outback Steakhouse tonight for a bloomin’ onion?

 

I WANT A BLOOMIN’ ONION.

And a steak.

 

There’s no m, a, or b in yes.

 

That’d be wise.

 

Upping the Ante

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

 

I’m worried. Lately, I’ve been feeling uninspired and lame. Also, non-creative. For the past year or so. And it’s as if I can sense my creativity conduits drying up, akin to hardening of the arteries. Fresh synapses refuse to fire and I’m stuck on a track and I can’t even come up with words for things. I’ve never been dependent on a thesaurus in my life. Until now. But I just can’t think of good synonyms. In fact, I can’t do a lot of things I once did. I used to love to make up stuff, and be silly, and go on tangents, and create. And now it’s as if my brain is closed for business.

 

 

I’m forgetting things too. I can’t remember certain events that’ve happened, and then every so often, a random memory strikes my brain and I can see the details so clearly, but I don’t know where I was or if it even is my memory, you know? It could’ve been a scene from a movie, or a figment from a dream, or something someone told me once. Then, if I want to describe the thing I saw that I don’t know is mine or not, I can’t retrieve the word pictures. So the image just sits there and stagnates.

 

 

So worse of all with all this non-creativity and brain stagnation comes the thought: Maybe I’m not supposed to be a writer. I’d always wanted to be, aligned myself with that identity, but what if it’s not my path or my calling? Is this a turning 40 thing? Re-evaluating everything and not knowing how to define your life? Because it is unsettling.

 

 

I think I think too much. Or, that I’m very hard on myself. But then I wonder if I shouldn’t be harder. I go round and round and round. Maybe I’m mentally exhausted. Could that be it? What I do know if that I do the same things again and again. I suppose there isn’t new stimuli coming into my little world. I’ve fallen into a routine and can’t get back up. I say the same things to the same people in the same way in the same places.

 

Oh God. I’m just going to shut up.

 

Here’s my action plan I am going to enact (Oh good Lord, where is that thesaurus) to poke my creativity and wake it up:

 

  • Listen to different music.

    I love my Indigo Girls and my Missy Higgins and my mellow folk rock, but I think this same old same old music has lulled my brain into some sort of static rhythm. I need to shake it up. So, yesterday I downloaded music genres that are new to me. My theory is that by giving myself something new to listen to, my brain waves will perk up. Some of my “new” music includes songs by MC Yogi and Chopteeth Afrofunk Big Band.

  • Read new things.

    I’m not so much a politics girl or even a current events girl. I’m in my own teeny mind world so much of the time that I don’t look at what’s around me. As such, I plan to read material that is out of my comfort zone — including, oh I don’t know, more political essays from Esquire, for one. Also, more science. I’d like to read about science.

  • Change my scenery.

    I should be taking more walks in unexpected places. Go down strange streets (that are well-lit), explore new neighborhoods, look around. Yes! I need to look around.

  • Take deep breaths.

    I’m pretty sure my brain needs oxygen. I will spend more time bringing the good air into my system by opening my chest, expanding my diaphragm, and breathing robustly.

  • Meditate.

    Definitely! I need to just sit and shut up. And not think. I think the not thinking will be a very very excellent adventure for me. As I meditate, I will listen to this song (“Meditation”) from Nawang Khechog.

  • Be nicer.

    I complain a lot and don’t give thanks. I am often irritated with my husband and kids. I pledge to pay more attention to this area of my life and to let the sunshine in more often. I will do this by remembering that I am blessed and to consciously choose positive words over negative ones. It’s not going to be easy at first, because I’m a certified whiner, but if I keep at it, maybe I can re-program myself.

 

Check back often. Hopefully, by launching my action plan, I will soon be able to write more engagingly and less thesaurusy.

 

Also, it’d be nice if I could become a better person in the process.

 

(pictures from here.)