"We Three"

"We Three"

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Schizophrenic me...

It seems the last three paintings I executed (good word, that) were really different from one another. Looking back, there were really good reasons for that. The landscape came out of a demo I saw at our local art supply store, the cows came from the dregs of the palette for the landscape, and the Cezanney thing came from a picture I saw that sparked my interest. Still, all are art, I suppose. After all, art lives on many levels. It is esoteric, of course, meant to provoke emotion, different ones at different times for different people, but emotional, nevertheless. For some, it has intrinsic value, it is a good investment. There is prestige in owning original art, even if it is ugly. I think most people own art because they view it as an object of beauty, something they can gaze upon every day and fall in love with, over and over again. And then there are those of us who just make it, and hope something magical happens in the doing. For this artist, there is very little mind in the paintings. It is a heart thing, and, once completed, they become like my beloved children. It is hard to part with them, on the rare occasions I have done that. The camera helps. And, I can do it again, produce new ones. I don't know anything more satisfying than going to bed at night knowing something exists that wasn't there when I got up, whatever that something might be.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A tiny march of days...

Three friends and I are having a party to celebrate 20 years of sobriety. I got to design the invitation, and this is the first of 5 images I diddled up last night. I think I could have quit with this one, now that I look at it again, but you know, if one is good, five are better! That's why I became an alcoholic in the first place! My contribution, and it is a small but affordable one, is the decorations. I plan on butterflies, because they represent transformation, and are easy to draw and paint, since I plan on about 20 of them around the walls, with summery garlands and orange, yellow and green tablecloths. Should be bright and festive. And, HP knows, getting sober is not as hard as staying sober. That is where the work comes in, day after day, through deaths and disappointments, through weddings and holidays, through betrayals and lies. That's just life, and people. Fallible people. It is seeming easy at the moment, but there is no stress in my life. Unless you count the butterflies I have not begun to create. And there's only 2 more months to do it!

Monday, July 27, 2009

RX for life...

When I was growing up, back when dirt was new, doctors and lawyers were prohibited from advertising by law. Don't know why that was, it just was. Perhaps it was because people were more conservative, and believed they could take care of their problems in the privacy of their own homes and minds. My, how times have changed! Now everyone from plastic surgeons to podiatrists are on the tube, touting their skills. Erectile dysfunction? Call us! And that lawyer in the cowboy hat, he's my fave. But what is even more shocking is the pharmaceutical industry's pitches, which abound during daytime dramas, aka soaps. Ask your doctor about (fill in the blank). Are we to the point where we prescribe for ourselves? Well, there's always been that element, we called them drug addicts. My parents are on so many different prescriptions it is dizzying. And I am surprised my mother has not yet asked to that new one, the one that grows eyelashes. Yeah, you heard me right. Eyelashes. It is difficult to imagine this as a true health hazard, dearth of eyelashes. But it has been the bane of my mother's eighty eight years that when she was a teen, someone told her that if she lopped off her lashes, they would grow back thick and curly. Instead, they never grew back at all. And somehow, she has survived lo these nine decades with nary a problem. Oh, I am not without compassion here. I know a lot of people suffer genuinely with chemical imbalances, bi-polar disease, depression, etc. and pills are a godsend for them. I just think things have to get pretty awful before I will lay myself at the feet of the drug giants. And I have plenty of eyelashes, so no problem.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pass me my crown of thorns, please...

Alcoholism is a dreadful disease. I know, there are those folks who just think we are sniveling creatures without any will power who just exist to make their lives chaotic. They don't understand that a lot of alcoholics would love to quit drinking, and can't. I am aware that I am among a very fortunate few who have succeeded at putting the disease in the background, in the dormant stage. It is not gone, though. And it can bubble up from the depths and cloud my thinking and make a drink seem like a good idea at any moment. So I remain vigilant, do the things that help me remember what works. And then there are some who do the same things I do, and still cannot stay sober. If I could do it for them, I would. And I cannot. I can listen, I can suggest things I did, I can share my own trials, I can hope to lighten their load of guilt and shame, but in the end, every one of us has to make that decision on our own, to save our own little butt. Like life, I think my disease is cyclical. There are the high times, when Higher Power and I are waltzing together, happy, joyous and free. And the dark times, when HP is veiled by my own angst, and I feel alone and terrified by my own shadow self. I know what to do, though. And it doesn't involve thinking. I cannot heal myself with the mind that makes me sick. I go into action. Self-care becomes paramount, along with ending isolation by taking myself out to meetings and gatherings where I can get much needed perspective. Gratitude lists lift me out of want into plenty. All these things are in my spiritual tool kit, laid at my feet. It is packed with 19 years of experience, and all I need to do is reach into it, after I notice that it is still there. You'd think I would have tripped over it sooner!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Looking for the directions...

Somewhere, I am convinced there exists a manual for living a good life, one that is on track, one where the wheels don't ever fall off. I think it would include potholes and speedbumps, and the resultant angst, but would know enough to counsel that getting angry, anxious, worried or just plain nuts is not necessary in those moments. In fact, those are the moments which most need clear-headedness, and willingness to move through the trauma rather than avoiding it with mind-altering substances. There must be people out there who know all about this stuff. Lord knows, there are plenty of books out there for the rest of us, the dazed and bewildered ones who clomp about, often on the toes of others, and get ourselves into all kinds of trouble. Maybe if I'd been issued a copy of this life manual upon my arrival in this terribly rude world, a lot of folks would not have been hurt, including me. I still am not sure how to respond to the slings and arrows life hurls at me most of the time. Luckily for the world, however, I have learned to talk over potential actions with another, less emotional, person, before putting my foot in my mouth, or acting out in front of folks I will later need to apologize to. That's about the best I can do. And I make myself available to do that for others, too. Maybe my manual is in the mail?

Friday, July 24, 2009

The new, new one...

I had this dregs of a palette left after the three cows, so I toned a canvas yellow and started a new still life, a Cezanney kind of thing (he outlined stuff, you know, and stuff doesn't really have outlines in real life, now, does it). Yes, I know the compote is wonky. That is on purpose, it is the way Cezanne would have left it. I find it is a good idea to take a picture of the beginning of a piece, because if I pick to much at it, I can get it back to its original sweetness. Because paintings often seem very sweet in the beginning, sort of like infants, you know. And you probably can guess that I am still trying to find my style, that which says me all over. I like this kind of painting best, quick, instinctual pushing of the paint around. This may be the one, actually. Would that be so bad?

The way it works...

I mentioned that one of my classes, Art 7B, is going to be at the southern campus of our wonderful community college. It is about 16 miles away, a quick drive down the 101 corridor, and I really need to polish up my drawing skills, and it is not offered here at the main campus, so I said, oh, well. And the other day, at the pool, as I was dripping my way into the locker room for my shower, I ran into an old classmate (old in that we had been together in class a few semesters ago, and old in that she is around my age, too), and she registered for the same class! Considering we were in Art 7A together, I found this to be a wonderful serendipity. We will be sharing the driving, and saving the planet at the same time! And that's how HP says Hi! I'm watching out for you! Another opportunity to be grateful. I just love that.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

From my tiny mind...

I have noticed that we love to grouse about the weather. Sheeesh! It's hot! Brrrrrr. It's too cold!
I am loving the weather these summer days. It is cool and gray in the morning, but the sun always burns through by 11:15, when I head out the door with the Monet bag, Speedo under my shorts. And the glorious sun gives me another sprinkle of freckles, then I hike home. It begins to heat up, then the sea breeze filters inland, bringing the coolness. By sundown, it is chilly, and the nights are downright cold, full-PJs-extra-blanket cold. I have been sleeping in my world's-softest-socks, too. Well, the old pump must be tired of pushing warmth down my mega-long legs. My tootsies get realy frigid. I do balk at turning on the heater. I'd rather bulk up with sweats and sit under one of my many afghans. Okay, bland time for cow-waving woman here. But, oh, what a glorious day!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I don't need no stinkin' validation...

It's really nice when what I think is validated by someone outside my truth bubble, but no longer necessary for me to know that I am okay. Remember that book, I"m OK, You're OK? I used to peruse it as I sat waiting to UA a couple of girls at the treatment program I once worked at. It was about healthy interaction, something that doesn't happen in this world all by itself, we need books to tell us how to do that. Why do you suppose that is? Well, I think it is all about EGO, or in the male of the species, SUPEREGO. The main belief of the ego is that it is separated from everyone else, the me vs them thing. What is really true is that we are all connected to one another, and to this amazing universe. Physicists know this. They know that all we perceive here is energy vibrating at different frequencies, and it is all made of the same stuff. (I vibrate at the same frequency as music, and when I really listen, I just purr, it is so delicious.) Anyhoo, I am going to take the time today to validate someone else who doesn't know yet they don't need my validation to hold their own truth. Not a bad goal for a summer's day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cows of a different color...

When I started this painting, it was from a rather washed out reference photo, and I wondered if it was destined to be a bland little painting. Then I perused what other artists had done, and got a great idea - non-local color! Or, actually, just pushing the local color a little toward red, a little toward yello, well you see what happened here. I am much happier with this mess than I was with the prior mess. Don't know if it's done, but then, as you know, I never do, not even when it's signed and framed. Things could always change. But I am in a pleasant state of satisfaction, and that's cool. Just going to hang out here for a while, and admire my new babies.

My condition...

How am I today? Simple question for highly complex individual. Complexity albeit from my own bizarre little perspective. But I still have to ask my self that question everyday, because that is the only chance I have of changing it if it is not what I want. If I make it myself, why would I not make it sweet? Why would I nail myself to my very well-worn cross, again? Easy to answer - that is what I am used to, and old habits hang in there. Shifts in perspective are harder to come by when I am sitting here, in my little yellow house, all alone (well, Boo/Pickle/Sunny are here, but so far have no opinions to offer). So I put on my big girl panties and go out into the world, to see what others are dragging around behind them. I look and I listen, whether at an AA meeting, or at the pool, or at Safeway, or at the Canine Companions fund raiser, or at the movies. Other people are great teachers. One couple was having this argument in the Costco parking lot the other morning. "Well," she said. "If you'd told me you weren't going to use it, I could have ...", the rest faded away. He barked back at her. Sounded pretty unimportant, and pretty typical for this couple. They don't know what I know; our troubles are of our own making! And right there, before I even got into the door at Costco, a religious experience of its own, I had my spiritual epiphany for the day! So, I am shifting gears here, away from the muscle I pulled yesterday swimming and to the wonderful al fresco meeting I will be attending at noon while I rest it from the pool for a day. It's all good, if I decide it is. And that's perspective.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Me and my Sumatra...

Being in recovery meant giving up more than booze. I foreswore cigarettes, even before I hit my alcoholic bottom ( but I thought I had given up drinking first, actually, just didn't know there was another drunk in there). I have worked hard to let go of swearing, always unattractive. For a while, I gave up meat and went vegetarian, not vegan, I ate eggs and dairy, and occasionally fish. I suppose you could say I have given up indolence, since I am always in action these days, pumping my little dumbbells or walking to Safeway with my green bag and, of course, the newest regime of swimming. I cut way back on carbs, and sugar. But I am never giving up my coffee. Even seeing that it does bad things to me, like cause hot flashes or bladder spasms. It starts my engine, and is worth getting out of bed for most days. It is around this time every year that Costco runs out of my beloved Sumatra (new crop comes in our winter as coffee grows in the Southern hemisphere, where the seasons are reversed, you know), and I have to grit my teeth and settle for Ethiopian, if I can even get that. But, boy, when the Sumatra comes back, I do a little jig right there in the aisle in front of God and everyone. Okay, I'm nutso. But it's a happy brand of nutso, indeed.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The big picture...

What is the matter with the world? Does anyone but me wonder? Bartenders are responsible for drunk driving. Gun manufacturers are responsible for murder and mayhem. Whatever happened to individual responsibility? It happens that I have a picture of Jesus here on my desk. Some squeaky clean young women gave it to me the other day at the door, and I thought, hmmmm. This is a pretty dynamic Jesus, obviously nicely made beneath his white mantle, strong, handsome features. A blue-eyed, red-haired Jesus, probably the antithesis of the real thing. Most Jews are not colored like this. Anyhoo, I am not a Christian, but I greatly admire the teachings of this man, now that I am over the idea that he was so pristine in his person as to be the ultimate goodie-two-shoes. I have read about the life of the man Jesus, and know that he was pretty fallible, like the rest of us. Now, most of this country likes to appear pious. Certainly our leaders do. Geo W. loved to be seen with bowed head and closed eyes, fervent in his faith. And he was the man who approved the torture of others, for the sake of "national security". No wonder the rest of the unwashed masses think they can abbregate any fault in their actions. Here I am, the voice crying in the wilderness, saying "People, if you all took responsibility and acted with character and integrity, there would be no threat to our security, on any level!" It's all about FEAR, folks. Time to get enlightened, before we are all dead. There, I feel better.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dumb de dumb dumb...

Let's hear it for self-sabotage! I don't need any enemies, I've got me! Good news was that I cleaned out my refrigerator, an event that usually causes those who know me well to hire a brass band and have a triumphal parade. And, in the spirit of waste-not-want-not, I ate an innocent little Jello pudding cup that had been languishing in the back of the fridge since when dirt was new. Didn't taste bad at all. Didn't cause any trouble for a while, and then, oh. my. god. Digestive upset doesn't begin to describe my anguish, not to mention embarassment. And then, before major eruptions, I went out and ran a red light. To give myself the shadow of the doubt, it was yellow when I crossed into the intersection, but turned red an instant later. Hope that camera is one of the many dummies they have around town, because that tiny moment of inattention could cost me $270. And why worry about it till it happens? In fact, why worry at all? If it does, I will scrape up the $$$ out of my ( if not generous at least adequate) budget. Oh, I will grimace, for sure. But not worry. Nevertheless I am cranky today. No swimming, bowels are unreliable. And no shopping, must save $$$ for possible ticket. And this could be infinitely worse. So, in process of getting over myself. Again.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Doing what doesn't come naturally...

I REALLY didn't want to go to the pool today. After the fiasco of the evening lapswim, I took a day off to do my workout in the backyard courtesy of the lawn mower and yard waste can. After making the bed, checking the e-mail, eating my organic pumpkinseed/flaxseed granola, shopping at Costco for the goodies for tomorrow's meeting, getting gassed up, I eyed the Monet swimbag, sighed, and put myself on autopilot. That means I put my head down and just moved forward. My friend was there and we shared a MEDIUM lane because my SLOW lane already had two swimmers. So we got to talk as well as cheer each other on, and I did 35 minutes of more or less continuous laps, and came away feeling refreshed and virtuous. How wonderful! Just in case, I have packed the bag to throw into the car, so that if I feel like it, I can run by for a swim after the meeting. And Sunday, well that day's the best. No kids, not a one, and not many other swimmers, either. Lane all to myself. Quiet, just the sound of the water slapping up against me. Pants are looser, too. It's all good.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Emily Post never covered this particular protocol...

Just like in life, lap swimming has a certain etiquette (although I notice that many youngsters these days are not well acquainted with please, thank you and excuse me, the only tools you need in this world to at least seem civilized). I wanted to go to the noon meeting yesterday, so I tabled my swim till the evening. Bad idea. Though it starts at 5:30 PM, there are still classes going on (water aerobics for all the sweet old round people on the right of me, and sleek youngsters to the left, diving and flipping about). That means they only open 3 lanes for laps: fast, medium and slow. And though that is what the orange cone at the head of the lane says, no one in my slow lane was going very slowly. I had to huff and puff to stay ahead of these hotshots who would Australian crawl right up my back if I didn't. I quit after 20 minutes of getting splashed by these human eggbeaters who seemed to surround me at every stroke, figuring that hurrying had given me the same number of laps I might have accomplished at my usual pace in 30 minutes. I am giving myself the day off today. From swimming, that is. No rest is anticipated, as the gardener here seems to have disappeared. And he took the housekeeper with him!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lost in the stars..

Some days, I just don't want to get out of bed. Okay, most days. It is my disposition to fall into dread. Nothing will go my way anyway, why even try? And, eventually, I feel sorrier for the beasts I live with than myself, and I rise to fill their various food and water containers, stand by the coffeemaker in bleary-eyed anticipation, and just stay in motion till I am back on track. Or not, I just keep moving. Notice that I make one of these little digital doodles most days. It seems to be my imperative to leave the world with something new every day. Not a bad reason to get out of bed, if I could remember it at that time. Perhaps school starting will end this aimlessness I feel in the morning? Whatever, the Universe just keeps wheeling away in its ponderous way, so I might as well buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The final, final, final product...

I think this painting is now finished. You know how it is; pick, pick, pick. Walk away, then pick again. Those trees in the center over the barn were a real challenge. I think they finally have transcended their mashed sweet potato stage. Ditto the hills beyond, which leaped off the canvas for a while, they were positively iridescent. The trees in the background got minimalized, and the barn got more definition. I put it in a frame, and my! It really popped. Putting it in a frame means I am almost ready to sign it. Almost ready.

News flash!

Sunscreen may prevent sunburn, but it does zippidedodah for freckles. I noticed a whole constellation of those little suckers across my nose yesterday, when I put on my glasses to check for lash clumps. Hell, I thought they had gone the way of Modess pads! And then I remembered, and got to imagine myself a 12 year old sapling again, all skinny and bow-legged, in my pretty pink and white swimsuit with the ruffles on the butt. I forgot that I am actually a gnarly old oak badly in need of pruning. It is like youth just bloomed across my face. How sweet is that!

Monday, July 13, 2009

In my mind...

... I am not athletic. It seems to be something that got left out of my particular recipe. That's okay. I got my share of good stuff. But I am coordinated, I know because my personal trainer told me so when I was doing the gymrat thing, and I expect he knows that stuff better than I do. Probably lack of eptness at athletic endeavors is what keeps me from getting going, exercise-wise. Nevertheless, this brilliant idea I had to avail myself of the aquatic center just a long city block away (half a mile, I clocked it) has been a godsend. I pack up my Monet tote bag, gift from my mother, who is always on the lookout for artistic junk to give me, put in my underwear (I wear my suit there), my keys, glasses (so I can see to open and close my combination lock), towels, swim mask, teeny weeney hair dryer and brush, and head out the door. The locker room is always a shock, full of mothers with kiddies headed for the gigantic kiddie pool, no deeper than 3 feet, but I have learned not to step on any of them. After divesting myself of unneeded articles, I negotiate the lane process. Today, it took four trys to get one. My usual lane had 3 swimmers already (definitely getting there earlier tomorrow). The next choice was a "class lane", where rotund little people were doing something. Ditto the one after that, though I think that was the gossip lane, because I got into the one over from them, and those ladies never moved anything during my swim except their lips. Well, chacun a son gout. I shared my lane with a nonagenarian and his caretaker. Sweet little guy was ever so slowly floating up and down. No matter, I just kept doing my thing. And even though I was in shallow water, I swam as I always do in my deep lane, without resting. For 30 minutes. Okay, it's slow swimming, but it is also continous motion. After, I feel all stretched out. And I imagine I can feel the tone in my arms and legs. And even the fat bubbles that erupt out of my Speedo seem to be diminished. Gratitude oozes from every pore that I am not one of those in the other lane, who walk up and down, slooooooowly. Showering and skinning off my Speedo, I dress, blow dry, and walk the half mile home, to lunch on salad, and feel really virtuous. So, though I cannot skate or ski, I can swim, and that's something.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bloody Sunday, again...

I had another image in mind when I began this blog, but the machine had other ideas, and this is the one it wanted. Machines are doing it to me, again. Victim of machines, that's me. It's a Sunday kind of thing. Basically, I detest Sundays. There is no mail, and even the garbage bill is better than no mail, you know. Surprises come in the mail. No mail, no surprise. I don't go to church any more, and even when I did, I had to come home afterward anyway. There is no family here to cook for or clean up after or just listen to, playing Marco Polo in the backyard pool. They, and the pool, are gone. So I am planning on ignoring the day of the week, and heading out at 11:15 for a swim, in my new Speedo. And working in the backyard. I am having a gathering of women next weekend, it came up kind of spontaneously and I said "we could have it at my place" so we are. Which means serious dog hair cleanup and some yard maintenance guaranteed to melt another inch off my body. I hope it is the inch that hangs out from my Speedo.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I just want to be okay here...

I don't know about you, but I find this life to be rather challenging. Notice I didn't go as far as Scott Peck did, and proclaim it downright difficult. One of the aspects of sobriety and our brand of recovery in AA is about not struggling. If you're struggling, you're not doing it right. So I often stop and just take stock. Where am I in my process today? Well, let's see. I love my new iron, though I burned myself on it on our maiden voyage together. This is because my previous iron never heated up that well, hence, never burned me. My new iron has a retractable cord, and let's face it, isn't that the rub of all irons, that (*^%&@ cord? And my Speedo that I bought myself, without trying it on, on non-refundable sale, fits me. Yay. Well, except for the fat bubble that emerges around my waist, especially on the right hand side. It's not a terribly big bubble, and the idea, after all, is to lose weight, so I expect the fat bubble will get deflated as I plow through the water, day after day. And it is a wondrous thing to do, get into lovely warm water and churn around. How graced am I to be able to do this at my advanced age? And, yay, I got registered for the next semester, then noticed that one of my classes is at the Petaluma campus. Well, I am doing only one class a day, and this class is only available there, so its a good thing. Newness, never a bad thing. Another campus to find my way around. Another group of teachers to schnmooze and cozy up to. Ah, tricky.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Her we go again, again...

Strange things are happening. And I should have known they would, because they have gone this way many, many times before in my current life no. 2. I have been doing some serious spiritual work, learning to live consciously, listening to Eckhart Tolle and Caroline Myss, examining my inner landscape and picking up all the litter, so to speak. So, yesterday, I could not get online. Bummer. Nothing bums me out more than not being able to read my email, my Thought for the Day from Hazelden, my NYTimes headlines-book reviews-movie reviews, my artist blog, well, you get the idea. Fortunately, it was easily remedied. Then, my iron quit on me. Right in the middle of my semi-annual ironing! How rude is that! Then I remembered, this is what happens when spirit is being employed, things electronic and electrical throw fits. Sigh. So I am off to Target for a new iron. And keeping my fingers crossed that spirit has had its fun for a while. I never liked that iron, anyway.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

What a good girl am I!

I made it to the pool now two days in a row. This is not like weight training, I decided. It is so low impact, I should be able to do it every day, and I am aiming for that, since this is, after all, summer. I have bought myself two new swimsuits, and am returning both of them. I am long in the body, and cannot buy one of those online, or at Costco, which eschews amenities like dressing rooms, but happily accepts returns. My lap swim is kind of mild, some breast stroke, back stroke, side stroke. But I keep in continuous motion, and do most of it without benefit of the kickboard, though it comes in handy when I get winded, which happens. My lung power is still diminished, the vestige of twenty-two years of smoking. I noticed today, though, that this swimming thing is coming easier, and I love cruising down my lane on my back, looking up at HP's lovely sky, feeling the water all around me. The smell of chlorine catapults me back to Ives Pool, where I spent my summers as a kid, paddling around as a little one, and preening for the boys as a teenager. Now, it is all about stretching those long muscles. And now, for a little nap, I think.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Fun in the afternoon

I got tired of picking at the landscape with the barn, put it aside, and started this one today. I think I'll call it "I'm Ready for My Closeup". So, tell me you love it. Artists as a rule are horribly insecure, and I am no exception. Okay, it needs a little more work, but not too much. It has a nice loose feeling, and I like that. Also, I used the minimum of pigments, warm red and blue, cool red and blue, cadmium yellow pale, and white. Period. Pretty simple, when you get down to it. Ah, the painter's life. You can't beat it.

It's not easy being me, Opus 2

I used to think it was hard being me since I really didn't know who me was, what I was supposed to be didn't please those in power, so I was forced to be someone else, except when I got fed up and became a holy terror. Now, I am pretty sure I am okay, and those in power have fallen down to right size, and we are in a kind of personal detente about who I am. It's a don't-tell kind of thing. And truly, is it my parent's business who I am any more? My behavior keeps me out of the newspaper (and jail). What more could they want from me? True, I am not like them. This is more from choice than anything else. My ideals are more about what lies within than what is spread about me like a peacock's tail. I go out into the world clean and neat, after all. I even washed my car yesterday. And the front lawn is mowed. Appearances are all spiffed up, but only because I feel better when they are. What I do, I do for my personal satisfaction. Of course, I don't hurt you, either. After all, you are me, we are one. Why would I want to hurt me? And isn't it nice that, though I may be limited in some areas, there are those of you just waiting to help me out? Perhaps that is why we all have limitations, so we will ask for help. Hopefully, before royally screwing everything up. Yep. That's the rub.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The importance of importance...

I read in my NYTimes news blurb I get in my e-mail every morning that the hot ticket in LA today is to MJ's funeral. Good news. The golden coffin arrived in time. My, my. I have always known that there is something about humans that make them want to climb to the top of the heap, even if it is a heap of trash. My five year old daughter once commented "You know Mom, you are what you drive." I wanted to believe at the time that that comment was inspired by her other parent, but I have to admit, I was subscribing to that philosophy, too. We owned thirteen cars, three houses, and two swimming pools in the measley eleven years we were married (consecutively, of course, not concurrently). And yet, in the end, we are all dust, n'est-ce pas? And this scramble for hierarchy is not unique to our species. I read African Genesis years ago. The birds do it, too. Something about guaranteeing the strongest propitiate the species, you know, survival of the fitest. Or in our species' case, survival of the most outrageous, or most beautiful, or most pugnacious. Strong is in the mind of the beholder, I suppose. Where is the humility? Where is the gratitude? Those are better medicines than the ones that killed the King of Pop, for sure.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The thing about keys...

I noticed last night as I took my earplugs out of the little box at my bedside that there was an errant key in there. Now, I have this idea about keys. The more you have, the more important I feel, and the more stressed-out I am. Oh, I know guys like to have a big bunch dingle-dangling from a belt loop, but you know guys, they just love dingle-dangly things. Me, I'd get an ache in my admittedly trashed wrist just lifting them. Once upon a time, I had a prodigious number myself: house key, garage key, car ignition key, car trunk and door key, outside office key, inside office key, desk drawer key, three file cabinet keys, bike lock key, safety deposit key, post office key, well, you get the idea. The more keys, the more responsibilities, and headaches. Especially when I'd lose them, something that happens less often than losing the wallet, but at least twice a decade. Fortunately, their number has dwindled to just three: front door, back door, and car (now one key opens everything and starts the car, what a concept!). The bike lock key has been in the bike lock, on the bike, which I only recently found under a pile of detritus in the garage, and it may soon make its way back to my key ring, but that's about it. And that's enough.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sunday morning musings, again...

Ever notice how many awful words begin with the letter D? Depression, desperation, divorce, desertion, dissipation, and of course, the Big Daddy of dreadful D words, DEATH. Which lead me to this little creation. What a delightful (and there's a diversion from deadly D words) invention, the deus ex machina. Humans mess everything up beyond imagination, and a god descends from heaven to set it all straight. I need one of those. It has become hard to get up, again. If not for the dogs (that's the most wonderful D word, n'est-ce pas?), I would still be in bed today. We are headed toward noon here, and not a shred of sunlight. The #$&$@* marine layer is just sitting there, pressing down on us. Must find something good about this. Like I can mow the lawn without sweating. No, that's not good enough. Well, I could curl up on the couch with my current mystery novel from the library, a cup of International coffee, and a couple of warm puppies, put on one of the movies I recorded on my DVR, and just BE. Now that sounds good. I could defrost (another dandy D word) the green pea soup I made on another gray day. Yes, that would do it.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

You've got to be kidding...

I am sitting in the middle of stereophonic lawnmower, hedge trimmer, weed whacker, or leaf blower sounds. And on top of that, there is something running that sounds like a dental drill on steroids. Come on, people! It's a goddamn HOLIDAY! Okay, 4th of July is not known for silence, but even I know better than to fire up the Craftsman on a Saturday holiday! Oh, good, they quit. Now someone is raking their concrete. Makes my teeth hurt. And, funnily enough, I was regaling a friend I ran into at Safeway, where I was getting the drinks for a barbeque I will be attending later, about the cacophony that is my life here in this sweet neighborhood, and he was gloating that he abides in sweet silence out in his gated, senior only community. I was so astounded, I drove my cart past the magic marker line, and it locked up before I could turn the corner to my car, and wasn't I lucky to have him there to help me schlepp all those heavy cartons of soda and water into my trunk. Then I come home and it is so noisy, I have to close the doors and windows to this lovely day. Okay, enough whining for the day. I'm off to schmooze with friends and get all weepy and patriotic.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Innermost me...

Happy to report there are very few of these little suckers floating around in my gray matter these days. Actually, the number approaches zero, because I confess my most dark and picayune thoughts to my AA sponsor, who quickly gives me absolution for my very human thought bubbles. It really was a tangled web, back in the dark ages of ME in life no. 1, the existence I lived before sobriety fell on me like a piano from the penthouse. There were as many versions of me as there were people in my life. Made it hard to be with more than one person at a time, and it was really fun keeping track of what each one expected me to be the next time we met up. Now, there is just one version, the new and improved ME, the WSYWIG woman. That's what-you-see-is-what-you-get for you uninitiated. And let me tell you, it is SOOOOO much easier to just be than it was to contort myself into whatever configuration I THOUGHT you wanted. If I am not good enough for you, well, so long, it's been good to know ya. Unless we are related, in which case, I am still genuine, with a few dandy come-backs to share, like "I'm sorry you feel that way" and "you might me right". Keeps me out of trouble (and in the truth of it) every time. Wisdom, sometimes it is just a coping mechanism, you know.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

And here's what I've been doing in my spare time...

Actually, all my time is spare, these days. No one expecting me anywhere. That's different, for sure. So I cropped a photo, one I took in the evening on my way out to West County, sun low in the sky, mustard absolutely shimmering. The landscape demo I saw this weekend inspired me to do some slapping around of paint, and here is the effort so far. I kind of like it, and that's kind of unusual in itself. Will go back into it, for sure, but it is coming up rather nicely, with a lot of elan. I am happiest with a brush in my hand. Must remember to put on my apron, though, I got paint on my favorite cargo shorts. Even though they are too big, I love schlepping around in them. Hopefully, Spray and Wash will remedy that faux pas.

Welcome to Summer...

Well, after living for four years within a city block of the Finley Aquatic Center, I have finally done what I planned on doing, bought a monthly pass for lap swims. Being a senior, I get a tidy discount, and, if I go at least 5 days a week, it is a bargain. Otherwise, I
have once again outsmarted myself and spent too much $$$. It's always a challenge, you know. So I did my first laps today, some with and some without a kick-board. I managed almost 20 minutes, and could have gone on if I didn't need the steam to walk back to the house, I nice 3/4 mile stroll. Now, I am a noodle, overcooked, too. But I imagine that my thighs and shoulders are nice and taut already. The water was delightful, and the pool is deep, 6 to 12 feet, but I swam in the end lane, where I could rest if I needed to. Had to buy a couple of beach towels (already on sale, how sweet was that) and now am in the market for a mask like the one I saw on the guy who shared my lane, goggles with an attached nose guard. I like to swim underwater, but need to protect my tender eyes and nose. Said guy also warned me that the chlorine would frizz my hair (his head was shaven, so he was exempt from that indignity), so I made sure to rinse it thoroughly in the shower afterward. Hey, I can do this. I can pack up a psuedo-spabag, with all the essentials, including 50 cents for the locker, nifty little blow dryer, brush, lipstick, underwear (for after swim, I wear my suit there), plastic bag for wet suit, ID card to get in, sunscreen, you name it, I've got it. Piece of cake. If I survive.