Categories
Little Bits of Stupid Wasted Time... Writer's Block Writing

I’ve Been Held Back to the Point of Falling Over…

Broken Chair
Squashed by a 104-Pound Woman!
Taken February 12, 2016 with
Samsung Galaxy 3

I’ve had some serious “Writer’s Block” issues for the last… oh… millennium or so. I’ve come to the conclusion over the last several months that it’s not writer’s block so much as my own stubbornness that’s keeping me from writing.

But then the above event happened. In slow motion. Just like in the movies.

I had just sat down determined to Write Something, Dammit!, and was doing my “squat-sit” thing a la` this post, when I felt an odd sinking/sliding sensation, and realized that I was slowly oozing downward at a strange angle.

Eventually, I found myself in a ball on the floor, staring up at the underside of my desk.

When I managed to untangle the legs of the chair from the legs of myself, I tried to see the funny side – I kind of wished I had wired CCTV into the Belfry so I could see whether or not I had actually dissolved the chair in slow-motion or if it just felt like it – but I was just a little pissed that when I finally sat my ass down to Write Something, Dammit!, all I managed to accomplish was to collapse my only chair.

By the time I finally located the matching, unsquashed-flat chair in the lower apartment and steal it from the guy that actually lives there, I didn’t feel like writing anymore.

Sigh…*

Ah well…. with luck, the new replacement will last me as long as the old chair did – roughly 9 years. Maybe I’ll have this book written by then, too.

New Chair
New Chair…. Same as the Old Chair
Taken February 12, 2016 with
Samsung Galaxy 3

Random Song-for-the-Day: “7 Years” – Lukas Graham

[signoff]

Categories
Real Life Writing Zenishness...

The (Only) 5 Fears We All Share…

Who - me? Scared?!
Who – me? Scared?!

Psychology Today posted a really interesting article that crunched all our phobias down into five big fears that all of us share.

According to this article, you may not have arachnophobia – maybe you’re even amused at another person’s fear of spiders – but if the thought of being eaten by a bear keeps you from hiking in the woods when you would otherwise really enjoy a hike in the woods, then, deep down, you actually share a common fear (the fear of mutilation, believe it or not) with that guy you’re laughing at.

So, quit laughing already.

I’ve been trying off and on to make a living as a writer in one manner or another since I was a teenager. It has never failed that at some point in every one of my journeys (“This time I’m going to do it. This time, I’m not going to quit.”), someone or something has always stopped me in my tracks.

Categories
Writing

Epiphany #1…

You Know  You're Really a Writer When... #1

Categories
It Helps If the Whole Family Is Crazy Little Bits of Stupid Oh Mother...! Short Fiction The Father Chronicles

My Mom is a Biker-Chick…

Maude on her Hog
Maude on her Hog
Photo copyright either My Brother the Trespasser or My Sister Tootie
(Maude can’t remember who was standing behind the camera…)

I drove down to Teeny-Tiny Town today, having had no sleep since… well, I’m not certain when, but I’ve been writing – really writing – for real writing, so No Sleep Disease isn’t exactly a bad thing. This time.

On the way down, I saw a small plane tipped over on the four-lane median strip, surrounded by a single fire truck and a couple of cop cars. I thought I might be hallucinating at first, but then remembered that if that was the case, my imagination would have turned it into an airliner. I ought maybe check the news to be certain (I assume a plane landing on the highway might be considered news around here, anyway), but I think it’s safe to say I actually saw what I think I saw.

I think.

Lemme check…

….

….

Yup. It’s good to know I’m not completely nuts. Ahem…*

When I got to Teeny-Tiny Town, though, and saw that photo of my mother in leathers on a motorcycle… well…. that was something I was pretty certain was all in my own mind.

Until she started to laugh, and told me the story…

Seems My Brother the Trespasser (or maybe it was a nephew – I’ve had no sleep, and my mom can’t remember…) bought himself a new ride this past spring, and went down to show it off to my mom and my sister, who were both suitably impressed. Mom was so impressed, in fact, that she told one of the aides in the Nursing Home that it was her hog.

I don’t know why, but the aide didn’t believe her!

Mom said she would prove it, and got the Trespasser/Nephew/Whoever to fit her up, put her on the bike to pose, and then had [somebody] get a couple of copies of this pic printed up. The aide displays her copy on her fridge at home. I stole the other copy, to show you all how cool my mom is…

Look real close now… she’s not pointing at you. She’s giving you the finger (yeah, yeah, she’s flipping the bird backwards – give the ol’ lady a break – she’s 85).

Dad-gravestone-before-mom-diedWe had a visit to the graveyard (my dad’s monument is finally in place – his boat, sailing off into the sunset lasered into it somehow – he would have been right impressed, I think – and it’s an odd kind of comfort to see that boat on there, sailing away…), and went out for lunch before I sneaked off back home, pilfered photo safely tucked away.

On the way back, I saw an upside down tractor-trailer in the ditch, which my brain turned into a crash-landed Borg ship for a minute. The lack of armed militia tipped me back into the real world soon enough, but not before a whole ‘nother story clicked into place, waiting for me to start writing when the current project is put to bed.

Which is where I’ll be going… once I’ve pecked out a few more scenes.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Graceland” – Paul Simon

Categories
Finances Real Life

Whew! I Need That “Slow-It-All-Down” Button Again…

Image: Bear With Me
Bear With Me Taken July 7, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

Busy, wow! I’m loving the night shift, but will have to re-learn “day-shift mode” for the weekends until at least after the New Year, beginning this Sunday, when I start working days for Louie. That will only be on the weekends, mind you – I’m not sure yet how I’ll deal with working 7 days a week, let alone 16 hour days, so we’re going to leave that alone.

I still haven’t managed to fit writing into the schedule… believe it or not, I’m looking at an impending move of household coming up. We have the opportunity to move up two floors in the building. We’d be giving up a sauna, but we’d be gaining walls. Ky misses walls.

We would also be gaining a bedroom each. I haven’t had a bedroom of my own since… geez,
Winter of 1993. For about 3 months. My head is full of plans on what to do with it, since I will be starting out with an empty room.

I was offered my new Landlords’ apartment a couple of week’s ago. He lives on the top two floors of the building, and plans on moving out in January. Would I like the place?

Would I?!

The rent is more than my finances can currently bear, however, and I regretfully decline.

He drops the rent. Hmmmmmm….. Probably not as soon as January, I sez.

He gives me the lowdown: The third floor has its own bathroom and bedroom, and a small kitchenette, he tells me. It was once a bachelor apartment, and would be perfect for the Idiot Child and the Oogily Bay Girls to hang out in. Apparently, the New Landlord is perfectly aware that my home is the Clubhouse of Oogily Bay, more often than not: the main hangout of 7 teenagers (Oogily Bay + Ray), and not only has no problem with it, but is using it to pimp out this new apartment to me.

And it’s working.

And *I* would have a bathtub again! Oh. My. God.

What will I do with four walls and a closet of my very own, though…? I’m thinking of turning Japanese as far as decor goes. Ideas?

Not-So-Random Song for the Day: “Turning Japanese” – The Vapors

Categories
Blog-Family Little Bits of Stupid

Bloggers Say the Darn’dest Things…

"Where You Caught That Mystery Virus..."
“Where You Caught That Mystery Virus…”
Taken December 18, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

Bloggers are pretty freaking funny. Lucky for me, ‘cuz I’ve been short of time of late, and recuperating after finishing The Waitress, the Whiskey & the Handcuffs. So I spent a little of what time was left over after “re-charging” (ahem…*) picking through my comments of last year. I’m paying homage to a bunch of my Blog Family members and a few others with this list, just because it proves they may be more crazy than I am.

These are great writers, all, and I hope you’ll visit them – ummm… although OldGuy’s site is slightly kaput at the mo’. No, it wasn’t my fault. I don’t think, anyway.

Oh, and Julie may be AWOL. That probably is my fault.

OldGuy of OldGuy’s Tree House:

“Oh, I like Ruby’s mother, I really do. And headless, blood-spurting dancing chickens.”

“I’m getting old and my bladder isn’t what it used to be.”

“Actually I’d like to be there when they replace the skylight coz I wanna make faces and fire paper clips at them.”

“So you walk to the retirement home every time you go out ?”

“Geez, between the powerful zoom and your nifty reshaped eyeballs you must be able to see all the way to Moosonee.”

“Whack job eh ? Well, at least I’m in good company.”

“There was that one year when we didn’t get snow in April … oh no wait, that was in Hawaii.”

“The trick to getting through vacuuming is to imagine the dirt is trying to destroy the universe and you are a hero armed with a powerful weapon that will foil it’s evil plan.”

Mushy of Mushy’s Moochings:

“You must have or witnessed chickens being killed, because I have and you are dead on.”

“You have to love ’em…they’ve been around too long not to.”

“I was intrigued, first of all, that anyone could stay in a bathtub that long!”

Rhea of The Boomer Chronicles:

“I think it was the eggs hanging down, not the hummingbird, that clinched the grand prize.”

“Was it the drugs?”

“It’s a pretty groovy haircut.”

Denise of Not What It Seems:

“I want to know about the donkey.”

“Since I don’t know the whole situation, I will give you a hippie/granola crunching response.”

MotherPie of, well, MotherPie:

“I was the flower girl in the Marlboro Man’s wedding (he was one of the non-smoking Marlboro Men, I think).”

Suzi of What It Shwas:

“I swear I can smell the pee-soaked straw.”

“I sure hope you made a video of the rat vs. cat match.”

“You picked the wrong time to give up booze.”

“Might I suggest cloning yourself?”

“Mmmmmm. I’m suddenly craving eggrolls and calamari.”

“You can’t really consider a camera “tested” until it’s been to Mexico, though.”

“I enjoy the shark’s lipstick, too.”

“It’s so much harder to learn new stuff when there’s already so much stuff packed into your brain!”

“Tell Kyla to quit floofing her kid dander all over the place. Geez.”

Shrinky of Shrink-Wrapped Scream:

“Beer – lots, it’ll help no end.”

“Don’t do it – you know it makes you cranky!”

“So I know you’ve written to me, but I haven’t a clue what..aarrgghhhh!!!”

“Fornicating pigeons are far more my style..”

“Hey, I just won an award today!!! Dead chuffed, I am.”

“I’ve sent the lear jet – but bring your own freakin’ chair!!”

“God my head hurts. I’m gonna be driving around half-pissed for the rest of today.”

“Sure, life is shit at times, we’ve all got to deal with it. I deal with it by drinking a bucket of wine.”

BeckEye of The PopEye:

“I’ve never seen any riding the trains, just walking on the tracks. Oh, and swimming in the nacho cheese at Taco Bell.”

“If I put as much effort into finding paying gigs as I do into writing silliness on my non-lucrative blog, I’d be living in the West Village instead of above a porn shop in Brooklyn.”

“A subway rat would’ve eaten all 3 of you without batting an eye.”

“What happens to a dream deferred? Does it burn like a wicker chair?”

“Your camera needs a name? Uh, Federwhore, maybe?”

“Way to make me feel like a loser!”

“Not gloating or anything. Wait, yes I am.”

“Say ‘feces’ instead of ‘shit.’ It’s such a fun word to say. Or ‘turds.'”

“If someone threw a quarter at my ass, it would probably never be seen again.”

Julie of What They Don’t Tell You in Film School:

“I had a bathroom modeled a few years back, which was around the time I learned to pee in a coffee cup.”

Deni of Last Girl on Earth:

“I just took the test and I’m a purple brain too.”

* * *

Oh, and yeah… I’m employed again. Twice over, as matter of fact. Yes. Two jobs – how the hell did that happen do you think?!

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Good Riddance” – Green Day

Categories
Other People's Stories... Real Life

The Day the Earth Stood Still…

Tilapia - photo
“A Fish of a Different Flavour”

A couple of months back, I was invited to dinner by a friend: a 6’4 cook I worked with at The House of Fracas, my temporary placement, the first J.O.B. (and so far, only) in my brand new field, after I was out of school.

This invitation was a long time coming. He kept inviting me… but I would either decline, or he wouldn’t be able to come up with a date for the “date”.

In my case, I needed some guts; not to mention, a kid-free evening so as not to freak my daughter out.

For a long time, whenever “man” or “men” came into a conversation, she tended to go a little squirrelly with the idea of her mother um… meeting one/talking to one/associating with one/going out with one/being seen in public with one/dating one/falling in love with one/marrying one… in a nutshell, she didn’t want any man, be it friend/co-worker/date/pick a label, anywhere near either one of us. Grampa and her Uncle Trespasser were the only two male human beings she trusted. I suppose I could say the same for me.

In The Cook’s case, he needed an evening that he wasn’t working, when his room-mate was working, that included finances allowing for a nice meal for an extra stomach, that fell the day before a scheduled day off – presumably to allow for cleaning the kitchen long into the night and/or not waking up hung over and having to go cook three meals one-after-the-other for a bunch of other stomachs.

Finally, the last time the invitation was extended, we hammered down a hole in both schedules and labeled it Tilapia. As the date got closer, we both had an idea that something would screw it up, but miracle of miracles, that day, the earth stood still for once, and everything worked out in favour of fish and a good story.

Ky had a sleepover that she didn’t kak out on at the last minute… The Cook managed to get out of The House of Fracas in time to shop for Tilapia… the store didn’t run out of Tilapia before he got there… I didn’t get lost on the way to an unfamiliar place… so far so good.

Dinner was nice. I ate a type of fish I was not familiar with, that I very much enjoyed, declined the wine in favour of a Cuba Libre (always the better choice – fish or no), and sat back to conversate with a Someone that turned out to have more in common with me than I would have imagined.

He likes Archie Bunker, which amazed me, because he never struck me as the type that would. He’s a city-boy – an implant from Trinidad and Tobago, raised in Toronto – who loves music, but seems to listen to black artists exclusively, dances while cooking, and can’t seem to understand why people from Sault Ste. Marie do not act like people from Toronto. We argue often about why “we” do not change our behaviour to accommodate him.

He didn’t seem to me to be the average Archie Bunker fan. In truth, he seemed more like a black Archie Bunker.

Anyhoo…

We had some odd revelations come up during our long conversation, the TV muted until All in the Family was set to start… and eventually, the conversation got around to me writing, and why I wasn’t, much, and “What the hell is a freaking blog?!”

So, I told him about my life online, and my Blog-Family, and the stories about Ruby, and my dad, and blah, blah, blah, and the look on his face was priceless.

“What?!” sez I, thinking he was just astounded that people can have a second sort of life, completely digital, which in my case, is more important than my dirt-side life. I’ve seen that same expression on the faces of other people, after all…

Most of the people I meet face-to-face use the internet, but live in the “real” world (not including “gamers”, who have a whole ‘nother existence, but try telling “real” people that bloggers and gamers are two different species – I dare you – cuz they just don’t get the difference), and just can’t imagine how bloggers connect with one another.

He surprised me again, though.

“I have a story! If I tell it to you, are you gonna put it on the Internet?”

“Well, DUH! Yeah! I’ll change your name, though.”

“To what?”

“I shall call you ‘The Cook’,” sez I.

To which, The Cook took offense.

“I…”, he stated flatly, “Am a ‘Kitchen Manager’.”

Ummmm. Okay….

“I’m not calling you ‘The Kitchen Manager’,” I told him.

He countered with, “Well, you’re not calling me ‘The Cook’.”

In the end, we finally decided that he could come up with his own nom-de-blog once he’d told me his story…

Which he did do, but this post is already way too freaking long, and I’m out of time, and I’m trying to get back at a couple of Blog-Family members for their “To Be Continued…” habits (CardioGirl and Shrinky, specifically, the shet-bags), and this should piss them off nicely.

So I will post the story told to me, by The Newly-Named Cook… Kitchen Manager… ummm… soon. Ish.

And soon after that, I’ll have another Blanche-story up… followed by a Dad-story… followed by a Ruby-story… and I imagine a bunch of gibberish of my own interspersed between them all. That oughtta bring us all nicely into October.

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Seven Wonders” – Fleetwood Mac

Categories
Photography Real Life Wasted Time...

The What’th of September…

Waste Not, Want NotTaken September 22, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550
Waste Not, Want Not
Taken September 22, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

Ruby needed to know the date the other day, and that’s how she asked it: “This is the what’th of September…?” It struck me as a good title for a blog post because it’s felt like the “what’th of September” for pretty much the entire month.

The photo is fairly symbolic for my September, as well. September has been a waste: blog-wise, writing-wise, and life-wise. I’ve done nothing of note this month, and nothing productive, unless you count cleaning the bathroom.

I don’t count cleaning the bathroom as productive unless it’s been an horrific mess and takes a while to clean, and that hasn’t been the case in some time. And if this new-for-me bathroom were to get itself into the state of “horrific mess”, it would still only take 10 minutes to clean it – I’ve seen bigger broom closets.

I’ve spent most of my September taking stock of things. One would think that would be productive, but it’s turned into a waste of my time. I’m becoming more aware of “time” lately, since I overheard somebody say to somebody else, “Time is money….”, and the somebody else replied, “No. Time is life.”

Scared me a little bit.

I spent very little time during August purging enough stuff to allow me to fit myself and my child into this wee small space. I expected to agonize over what to keep and what to toss, and I was surprised how easy it was to just get rid of it all – shred it, trash it, give it away. Everything I owned held some meaning for me at one point and every previous attempt over the last 25 years to unclutter my living space has always been impossible when it came to memorabilia: photos, letters, stupid little bits of things that would mean nothing to anyone else, but meant everything to me.

Nostalgia is a weird thing. This time, when I started to cull the junk, everything I picked up could have been someone else’s memory. It didn’t mean much of anything anymore.

Now, it’s time to cull the things I’m wasting my time with and start getting productive. I thought I knew what I wanted, but now I’m not so sure.

[[[… time passes…]]]

How weird is this?! I’m in the middle of this post when I get a phone call from a friend asking me what I’m doing about “this writing thing you’re into”. 26 minutes of Kick-My-Ass has convinced me somewhat that I should continue the dream.

Except, I think it’s time to quit dreaming and start doing. I’ve already wasted too much of my time.

Time is Life, after all…

Random Song-for-the-Day: “Doctor Who Theme” – Orbital

Categories
Real Life Zenishness...

Pink Fantasy…

Image: Pink Fantasy
Pink Fantasy
Taken February 22, 2008 with Canon PowerShot A550

I’m right impressed with myself over this picture. I seriously doubt I’ll get another shot even half this good for the rest of the year. I kind of hope I don’t – I’m really proud of this one. I want to blow it up to about garage-door-sized and hang it on my wall.

The inside of my head feels a lot like this pic – kind of dreamy… gauzy… lazy…

I’ve been busy, mind you….

…picking away at a website I’m building for a charitable organization here in town…

…picking away at painting my little apartment – we’ve decided not to move, after all. We’re finally getting this place “prettified” the way we like it, and the thought of hauling all the stuff down the stairs…. Blech. It’s still small, even though we’ve gotten rid of 60% of its contents, but it suits us, and the larger (huger) place comes with a big jump in rent.

The more we thought about moving, the more we realized that the only good thing about moving was that it was just downstairs (no way am I giving up my landlady!), so packing would be… well… it wouldn’t be, would it?

I’m still waiting to actually get on the schedule at the new J.O.B…. they insist that I’m hired. Every time I call… “Uuuuuuuhhhhhhhhmmmmm…. probably…. some time…. uuuuuhhhhhhmmmmm…. next week….? Maybe….?” They tell me this once a week. I should have applied to work in HR instead of sales… I think they need the help.

So, in the meantime…

…I drink a lot of coffee, and work a lot of crosswords, and watch a lot of movies (and ball games… and hockey games…) with Ruby.

…I continue to scan the J.O.B. boards and newspaper ads, in the undying hope that something not involving sales, customer service or telemarketing jumps out at me.

…I Walk-About to my parents’, drink rum, and listen to a new story once a week. Yes, I’m writing them down – heck I might even get around to posting them…

…I swear over the apparently uninstallable software that will allow the coolest Ruby post ever posted to be posted… finally. I hope. Gulp…*

…I dance with The Turkey – who, by the way, has just finished the second edit of her first novel. At 13. Yup. I feel a little useless when she’s in the room. She’s also re-dyed her hair purple, and has taken to stealing the pre-stolen “Grampa-shirts” out of my closet (I stole them first, but there’s never one to wear when I want one), and wearing them with neckties. I’d post pics, but the kid doesn’t stay home long enough to catch more than her shirt-tail in the view-finder…

…I drive around with The Fly-Girl in the Soon-to-be-Mine Minivan (I think I’ll name it The FlyMobile, whad’ya think?), singing old rock tunes from when we were young and thought we’d be 16 for-freaking-ever.

…and I spend a lot of time staring at this picture… and drifting off… somewhere…

Random Song-for-the-Day: Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” – Elton John

Categories
J.O.B. Real Life School Wasted Time...

Hello World!

"Doodle"
“Doodle”
Taken December 18, 2007 with Canon PowerShot A550

Okay, it’s just been so damned long since I’ve posted that it feels like a brand new blog. And what you see above is pretty much what everything that I’ve been up to to keep me from blogging boils down to (Holy ol’ shit, but that’s a lot of “to”s!). In other words: a whole lotta squat, so I don’t even have a good reason for it.

I’m almost finally through with some crap that up until last year, I was supposed to be dealing with on an annual basis. It got so depressing, that I quit “taking care of business” for nearly a decade, and then last year it all hit the fan and I had to deal with even more crap over it. Yes, I mean “medical” junk, and no, I’m neither “sick” nor in any danger of dying (barring unforeseen buses, as per usual), but I will say that I’m sick to death (har, har) of hearing the word “inconclusive”, which is why I quit going back year after year in the first place.

Last year, The Powers that Be threw me a few extra curve balls, and I wasn’t in much of an emotional state, to say the least, to be able to handle it well. At. All. I went into it this year not giving any kind of damn at all and I’m fairly overjoyed for a change to hear “inconclusive” to the usual crap only and consider the curve balls of 2007 to have been manifested from a bad state of being. I’m learning that “inconclusive” can be filtered through what serves as the logical portion of my brain (tiny though that might be) to the point that I can truthfully believe, with the gargantuan illogical portion of my brain, that the results actually came back as definite and inarguable “negatives” and in two more days I can forget about it completely. Until next year.

Now, enough of that bullshit.

On the J.O.B. front, I’ve had a little more progress since I quit trying to find a position in my so-called new “field”. Yes, folks, although not yet set in stone, it looks like I will be back in retail again. Everybody stick your fingers firmly in the back of your throats and say, “Gackh!”, ‘cuz that’s about what that amounts to.

At least, I won’t be selling electronics. And then refunding/exchanging them 24 hours later amidst the screaming and the crying. Thank God, because if I’d had to that again, I would also have to admit, for real this time, that the last two years of my life (almost to the day; how’s that for ironic?!) have been a complete and utter waste of my time and the Canuckian government’s money.

Ah, who am I kidding? Retail is retail – 24 months that I could have been a productive, if incredibly bitter and pissed-off, citizen paying my own way. All I had to do was re-apply to work for The Company instead of take the lay-off when Louie sold his store back to Them. Yes, “Them”. The thought turned my stomach. Still does, so I guess I should be grateful, huh?

And I am, I suppose… I had a nice holiday. I have a new education. Perhaps, I might even find a use for it, someday… 😉

Actually, it really was a good two years, that way. I just wish I’d done more with the time than make plans for what I was going to do, instead of writing as much as I possibly could. I got more done on that front, truthfully, when I was schlepping computers and batteries full time, which, when I think of it that way, makes it more believable to me that I’ll write more once I’m schlepping completely different goods. Hope springs eternal, and all that…

So…

Those of you that give a damn, please tighten those crossed fingers that this position really comes through, would you…? Thanks. 🙂

Random Song for the Day: “Psycho” – Puddle of Mudd