In New England, memories are marked by season
and liquid moments, solidified with symbols of that season:
the blooms of spring, the summer sun, autumn leaves, and falling snow.
It's why I know I'd never be happy living someplace else - where its warm all the time or cold all the time.
I would be bored with the mundane. I would miss the memory tag of senses that brought me back to a specific place and a specific feeling, in a specific time. I'd miss the separation with nothing to usher in change, or to rejoice for the familiar when it eventually returns.
Living in New England is like living in a whole separate universe where moments of time are measured on a completley different scale.
It's late March now - I am driving down a quiet back country road through a thick tunnel of enormous ancient pines.
The last snowfall of the season blankets the majestic green peaks like white sprinkles on top of an ice cream cone.
It was a terrible winter.
Impatient for Spring, many travelers are angry that the snow still falls, but not me.
I slow my car down through the impressive forest of soaring conifers, taking one last lingering look - letting it all in... before I have to let it all go.
Our last winter together - in the wolf moon, when her spirit was set free.
like the death and the rebirth of the seasons themselves.
Moving further away from it makes me sad. It means moving further away from the memories and the moments we shared, so eventually they will start to fade, further and more distant with each new passing season.
I hold onto it now, holding it close to me and taking a few minutes to breathe it in deeply, every last snow covered tree, marking the season and the symbol.
Come late November - in the moon of the falling leaves, I know I will be driving down this same quiet country road, and the evergreens will be wearing a thin blanket of white, once more.
The memory of our moments will return with the falling snow, and the freedom of her spirit will fill me, just when I need it most.
September 22, 2008
Droplets of water trickled out of the faucet falling ominously onto the porcelain cracked tub. It sounded like the click clacking of your toenails on tiled floor as you meandered about the house in your early morning saunter, anxious for a new day. Deliberate but passive, just like me. Lazy stretch and sausage yawns. For a minute it felt like you were still here. A dream.
For reasons I can't explain the house still carries your smell, stronger than before. The rooms embody the essence of you. It holds on, lingering intently.
A mouse in the rafters rustling creaky wood boards, scurrying above. Rain that falls like a funeral dirge, wind that blows early autumn leaves. Neighbor dogs barking. Dark shadows cast on the carpet where we said our goodbyes. New hardwood floors that smell like ice cream upon entering the house. A lone oak tree that stands taller than the rest. Acorns and pine cones burning blue embers in a romantic flame. Tanned skin and white cotton in a warm embrace. Sharp needled puppy teeth, babies breath and chubby skin rolls. A song on the radio, a plaque hanging on the wall that reads "The high point of my day is that moment when I get home to be with my dog." My mind playing tricks on me.
The wee hours of morning tossing and turning. Missing the snores that lulled me to sleep, a blonde pawed kick in the ribs with a sigh that let me know I ought not to be so restless. Twitching whiskers, nostrils flaring in and out with the rise and fall of pink belly fur, involuntary leg jerks and soft whimpers escaping into the night. It's quiet now, they've all stopped asking. Haunting images I won't reveal. It's ours, like this empty silence that taunts me.
If you were here you'd give me that look -- with ears laid back against the sides of your velvety head, the curl of your tail unwinding with concern. A puckered snout gray muzzle, with a silly snaggletoothed smirk over black lipped gums and all would be forgotten.
Last month we were all sitting around the dinner table celebrating my birthday. A good friend of mine asked me what words of wisdom I'd like share from my now many years of living and learning. Here is what I would have said if I was able to articulate verbally as well as I can in writing:
It has taken me a long time to understand that life is all about second chances and what you make of them.
Fact: a dog will never fall out of love with you.
There has never been a better time to try and fail. Who knows.....you might even succeed.
Dare to be different.
Challenge yourself. You'll feel more alive.
I don't care who you are or what your circumstance - nobody else is going to make your dreams come true, only you can make them happen.
Everybody has their addictions, passions, and obsessions - mine just happen to have 4 legs, wrinkled faces, and curly tails.
If we let fear stop us from going after the things we really want then we risk never getting them.
Anger only makes you weak. It's forgiveness that makes you strong.
Volunteer for a cause you believe in. It will do your body, mind, and spirit nothing but good.
You used to think I was crazy but the truth is I am probably the sanest female you know.
And if the band you're in starts playing different tunes, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.
You should honor and cherish the people who are always there for you, because someday they won't be.
Dogs aren't our whole lives, but they do make our lives more whole.
The more I give, the more I have to give.
I think the meanest thing you can do to a person is to say things you don't really mean, just to appease them, or yourself.
One shot of whiskey in hot tea will cure a sore throat. Try it, you'll see.
I have faith that everything will work out the way it's supposed to.
I do believe that good things come to those who wait.
I have been missing you, have you been missing me?
Whatever is meant to be, will be. Trusting this and feeling it deep down in your bones is what will keep you calm and peaceful when life feels out of control.
Being successful in life may mean different things to different people. For me it means being able to master the fine art of balance between destiny and seizing random opportunities. It's like Forest Gump said at the end of the film, "I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time."
You should never knock someone else's dream - it might seem silly to you but for them, it may be all they have.
Remember when the people who are supposed to love you the most suddenly find you unlovable, it's most likely not because you have changed...it's because they have.
Perspective can be a deceitful little b*tch when you lose her....but when she finds her way back she will be your best friend on a dark rainy night.
Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forward. ~ Kierkegaard,
Are we really THAT different, you and I?
Physical beauty is fleeting, enjoy it while it lasts.
It's one thing to be nice and accommodating it's another to be walked on and taken advantage of. You should learn the difference.
When you're loved ones are hurting and you feel helpless, don't push them....send them gentle thoughts and let them know you are there. They will come around when they're ready.
You can't be everything and everywhere to everybody, sometimes the best thing you can do for others is to just be yourself.
"But Farmer Hogget knew that little ideas.....that tickled and nagged and refused to go away....should never be ignored...for in them lie the seeds of destiny."
~ Narrator, Babe.
Ever have one of those days when you feel like the only living creature on the planet who truly understands you is your dog?
I'm having one of those days.
She thinks to herself as said faithful dog gently rests a comforting chin on her masters shoulder and exhales a knowing sigh at the end of a particularly brutal day.
In the fall, I'm reminded of just how much I miss grunge rock, corduroy, and how nothing has really been the same since Seinfeld went off the air.
I'm reminded of warm apple cider, red leafed trees, cozy New England towns, heavy-weighted college sweatshirts with embroidered logos in navy and gray. Preppy bangs, inspiration, and what it means to live deep. To live deliberately and suck the marrow out of life. Dead Poets Society, "Oh Captain, my Captain!".
Exploring Indian caves, Concord, Mass. Thoreau at Walden Pond, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and how someday I'd like to make it to author's ridge, dead or alive; to rest among the silvery cracked epitaphs with ancient scripts there inscribed. Romanian castles, the peace that comes with striving, not just reading poetry but letting it drip from your tongue like honey, the ability to touch someone with verse and move them to tears.
Sometimes I cry when I read my own words but I'm still the same girl you used to know.
Blessings, grandparents, and how there's nothing quite like seeing something for the first time through a child's eyes. Comfy cotton sweatpants, black turtleneck sweaters, rich browns, vibrant oranges, muted taupe's and decadent purples; the colors of autumn and Mexican food. Full-moonlit nights, goose down pillows, crackling fireplaces and burning wood stoves. The first frost, Libra's and Scorpios and how to be gentle with a healing heart.
In the fall, there's a certain calm that washes over me with a warm sense of knowing. It reminds me of what it's like to be young again. To be completely unaware of how it feels to go without. To run barefoot in a field of green once more, to catch fireflies in mason jars with your best friend at dusk, to be pure and untainted, to allow yourself free passes for making more mistakes because you know you'll learn quicker that way. To forget for just 5 minutes what loss feels like, to unload the weight you carry with you.
It's in these still, golden-colored moments that I feel his presence most alive and working through me.
I wish it could stay fall forever.
Here are some pictures of Plum's rehabilitation from when I rescued her 3 months ago to where she is now. We've had some setbacks and will probably have more....but we are also making overall steady progress.
My end goal is to get her to the point where she is completely itch free and all the hair grows back on her feet and neck so the little old gal can enjoy her golden years without a hint of discomfort. I know it can be done, anything is possible with enough love and diligence.
We still have a long way to go but I love a challenge, and I do love me some Pum Pum.
It's funny how different love can be. The way I loved Pugsley was soooo different from how I love Plum. Pugsley was a one of a kind, so human-like, my one and only Sausage, the forever Pug of my heart.
No other will ever compare. No bond will ever be as strong and I will never love another living creature the way I loved him. It will never be the same, and that's ok. It's not meant to be is it?
I finally get it....each love you are blessed with in this life is meant to be unique and different and cherished for exactly what it is, nothing more and nothing less. They are not meant to replace the one that came before, but to leave their own special footprints on your heart.
I guess it's the same with humans. Some loves you have are more brotherly/sisterly or like a best friend and others burn with a fire in your belly that can never be distinguished.
The important thing is to keep on loving.
Wow, man. I've been stuck in 60's mode all week, wearing my Birkenstock's, long skirts and tie dye. I watched the 40th anniversary Woodstock DVD this weekend and am feeling all peace love and music, got to get back to the garden.
Sometimes I think I should have been a teenager or young adult in the sixties so I could have been with my kind. But I sort of feel that way about the 40's too... and the 20's and the 1800's and the 1500's.
Jim Morrison never made it to Woodstock - I think he was probably too cool or too dark and not really into the hippie movement. The Doors may also not have been invited after the Miami incident.....no one can really say for sure. In any event here I am doing my best Jim look. He was the King of piercing eyes and pouty lips.
I could have lit his fire.
I'm not much of a Facebooker. I have an account but I infrequently post status updates or pictures there. I do think it's a great way for people to find you though, if you want to be found.
So the other day out of the clear blue I received a friend request from an old friend who I've been wondering about over the years.
He was the boyfriend of one of my good friends but we clicked and connected on a mental and spiritual plane that was hard to describe: completely platonic, almost brotherly / sisterly, but very strong.
There I would be, a sullen teenager chilling in my bedroom late at night and out of nowhere I'd hear a knock on the window and it was him. He was a big guy too even as a teenager, about 6.4 with broad shoulders. He had long dark hair that reminded me of Jim Morrison and he always wore this leather jacket. I was afraid the noise of his leather scraping up against the window panes as I pulled him in would wake the house.
We would climb up into the crawlspace of an attic that was above my bedroom and no more than 5 feet high with an unfinished floor. To this day I wonder how the ceiling never caved in and collapsed with the weight of us moving around up there. We sat with our legs crossed, facing each other with a candle burning in the middle and as we listened to the psychedelic music of the sixties (even though we were in the eighties) we would just ponder, pontificate, and ruminate the meaning of things over great music for hours. Somehow we figured out that all the answers existed in the Doors lyrics.
He was an old soul and introspective like me. Not a lot of other people we knew were like us, not at that age. As a teenager dealing with my parents divorce at the time it was a friendship that provided a distraction and meant a lot to me. I always looked forward to our chats. Even if we were out at parties with hundreds of people we would find our way off onto a trail in the woods or to a big rock overlooking the lake and just fall into these deep conversations that always left me feeling....inspired.
He was a few years older than me so he graduated before I did and then he moved away and we lost touch. I knew from mutual friends that he moved to Colorado and I heard he was touring with the Grateful Dead. I'd hear stories from the road over the years and I'd always think of him fondly and hope he was doing well.
Cut to twenty + years later and thanks to Facebook we're back in touch!
He said when he joined FB I was one of the people he was most looking forward to reconnecting with and he told me I look exactly the same as I did back then. That if he saw me on the street he would still be able to immediately recognize me in a crowd. And he recounted our connection the same way I had recollected it all of these years.
He asked me if I still listen to the Doors, "of course," I said. I also think it's ironic that the universe reconnected us during hippie week.
Hands down Pug is my favorite smell in the world. That smooshy face odor that emanates from their mopy heads, waxy ears, and soppy wrinkles.
It smells better than sex and babies. Murphy's oil soap, eucalyptus, and chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven.
My nose delights in the circus of their smells.
I am an addict; I confess that I'm hooked on "p".
Plum likes to fall asleep nuzzling me w/ her head directly under my nose so I get a good whiff of what I imagine heaven must smell like.
I woke up this morning with a floppy pug ear on my pillow, directly under my nose. Somehow she had wedged herself into that empty space between me and the other side of the bed that's been vacant for years.
And for some reason I got that John Denver song stuck in my head -
"Sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy. Sunshine almost always makes me high."
See I talk a tough game, but deep down in the stillness of dawn I'm all, "Take Me Home Country Road" and Thank God I'm a country
All John Denver'isms aside - any discerning pug owner knows of what I speak. They understand a house just isn't a home without pug smells emanating from every room. And I think it means more after going without for a long period of time.
It must be the same feeling for rescues, how they must feel to have a warm human hand touch them kindly after years of neglect and abandonment.
I am realizing it's not just the delicious pug eau'dor that I have missed so much about having a pug around.
It's the way dogs live in the moment. With no thought of the scars from their past or worries for their future. They just exist totally in the here and now. They don't think much beyond their next meal, walk, or belly rub.....and on a daily basis they remind us to do the same.
Ah, Canis Lupus - my second favorite Latin term that starts with a c and ends in an s.
Think back to when you owned your first dog and all the life lessons they taught you. Things you experienced for the first time: responsibility, playfulness, unconditional love....things you still carry with you today.
In their company, your senses feel more alive. More acute. More aware.
Quite simply, I'm a better person with a dog in my life.
And having a pug in the house again reminds me that I am soft.
Jon and Kate Plus 8 - can somebody please explain her hair to me?
People who say verse instead of versus when denoting a comparison of two subjects. Totally different meanings by the way.... one is a preposition, the other is not.
People who give unpolished presentations and every other word is, "Um".....and we went to Um, and the results for that campaign were Um....."
When it takes a month to get an appointment with your doctor and when you finally arrive there on time, you have to sit in the waiting room for an hour.
Burning the roof of your mouth on hot pizza.
Ice cream headaches.
When all the light bulbs in the house blow at once.
Everything delicious and fun in life is bad for you.
Dashboard warning lights that come on unexpectedly.
Getting a flat tire only to discover the spare is flat too.
Bad hair days.
Overdone plastic surgery, think boobs that look like basketballs slammed under the skin and big puffy lips that look like they totally don't belong on that face.
People who have to make it all about them.
Pop ups that get by your pop up blocker.
Calling customer service departments that outsource their reps to another country and you can't understand a word they say.
People who are not mentally challenged but still feel the need to talk like Billy Bob Thorton from Slingblade, "Ah like french fried pur'taters, mmm hmmm".
Romantic comedies containing any of the following actors: Hugh Grant, Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Richard Gere, Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey.
Shirt labels that itch the nape of your neck or side of your hip.
Vegetarians who wear leather handbags and shoes...
When your cable bill increases $40.00 without warning and you have to get on the phone with customer service to get a new 6 month "promotion".
Renting a DVD only to find out its on television that night.
Celebrities who complain how difficult it is to be rich and famous.
That more people can quote cheesy one liners from Animal House than Shakespeare.
Drivers who pull out in front of you and cut you off only to drive 25 miles an hour like they are on a scenic Sunday drive.
When the sun doesn't come out for a month.
Talking to someone with an incredibly short attention span.
When the phone rings in the middle of dinner.
Paying $7.95 a month for an unlisted phone number and STILL ending up on some sleazy telemarketing list.
The entire cast of the new Beverly Hills 90210.
When half the cork stays in the bottle.
When your delicious cold cut combo grinder with oil and vinegar leaks all over your lap.
When you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.
When you're the last to know.
I would not have been talking on the phone that morning about such trivial things. I would have paid closer attention to your sights, sounds, and movements, to know it was coming.
I would have stayed awake the night before, lying with you on the floor, holding your paw in my hand one last time, telling you softly everything that I wanted you to hear.
Had I known it would be the last time we'd see each other...
I would have held your soft porcelain hands in my hands one last time. I would have caressed your face and told you how you will always mean more to me than anything, how I will think of you often and try to carry on all the good that you taught me.
I would have told you how I admire you and aspire to be just like you.
I would have asked for your recipe for the best mashed potatoes in the world.
I would have told you that of all the men in my life you were the strongest most positive influence and role model.
I would have told you how much I'd miss the way you could make me laugh more than anyone else in the world.
I would have told you not to worry, I'll always take care of your sister and make sure she's ok.
I would have said I'm sorry
I would have tried to win you back
I wouldn't have let you go to sleep mad. I would have pulled you back in close to my chest, taken you deep into my arms, looked you in the eyes and told you exactly how I feel.
I would have attempted to adequately express how much I appreciate having you in my life. How your belief in me and your support made me believe I could do things that I'd never contemplate otherwise.
I would have sat you down and asked you to tell me what was wrong. Why you were so troubled that felt you had to do what you did. I would have tried to get you help and assure you that nothing could be that bad.
I would have made amends for the years we struggled to get along. I would not have apologized for being me, but I would have thanked you for being you.
I would have told you that I love you.
I'm suffering from a bit of writer's block lately. There's too many other distractions keeping me from my story. Good distractions, but distractions nonetheless.
The story isn't going anywhere at the moment. I've reached a stalemate. It's in my head but getting it onto paper the way I want is proving to be more challenging and taking a lot longer that I thought.
I don't know why it comes and goes anymore than I understand why everything that is good in life tastes a little bit better when you sprinkle on some grated parmesan cheese and fresh ground pepper. It just does.
Still it's comforting to know that my cast of characters are sitting there on the shelf whenever I feel like taking them down to play. To know my story is there waiting for me to get lost in another world for a while when I get bored with regular life. It's like getting back in touch with an old friend after a long absence.
That may be what I like most about the process, I think. And I guess it's ok.
I have a confession to make. For the first time in a long time I am feeling really excited about something. There I said it. You know that giddy feeling you get that starts down in the pit of your stomach and tickles your belly from the inside, up, and outward when something is really working for you, and it just feels right?
I've entered a creative phase and I am taking control. Instead of moping about the lack of jobs and current state affairs, I am taking lemons and making lemonade. I realize that it's not a misfortune, it's an opportunity.
I've started writing my book.
It's the story I've wanted to tell for many years, but wasn't ready to until now. Maybe because I didn't know how it would end.
And now all of the sudden the story is telling itself to me everywhere. In the shower, while driving, in memories, in my dreams.... I've taken to keeping composition notepads in my car and on my nightstand so I don't lose anything when I am away from the computer.
My storyboard is complete. The plot is outlined. I know how it starts, what happens in the middle, and how it ends. I have my cast of characters indexed and transition sequences from chapter to chapter. I've found the narrative voice I'll be writing in, the overall theme, and I'm looking forward to the rest unfolding organically as I go.
My goal is to have a query ready manuscript by June 26th.
I wanted you to know why my blog entries may be more sporadic and lacking substance for a while as I run with this.
I am 10 pages deep.
That's all I can say for now.
That old dogs can learn new tricks
That beauty can be found in the ugliest of places
That the universe is trying to tell you something
That you have the power to walk into a room and set someone's soul ablaze, stirring a thousand desires with just one glance and a modest smile
That I love you
That you have the ability to change yourself, but no matter how hard you try you cannot change someone else
That good, bad, or ugly...right now at this very moment, you are exactly where you are supposed to be
That the people who come and go in your life served a purpose, but the ones who remain serve your heart
That no matter how far down you fall, there will always be a hand offering to help pick you up and point you in the right direction...if you are willing to take it
That someone still thinks about you every single day and wishes you were there
That life is full of do-overs and second chances
That trying and failing is still a lot better than never trying at all
That mean people always get what's coming to them
That good deeds go rewarded... but only when they are done without the intention of receiving a reward
That great friendships can be formed with the most unlikely of people
That you can make someone's day with one kind word or simple gesture
That you make a difference in a child's life
That you have the ability to make someone old feel young again, make someone ill feel well again. Even if only for a couple of hours...or minutes
That family is the most important thing
That you'll feel more lonely being with the wrong person, than you'll ever feel being alone
That no matter how strong someone seems on the outside, inside they may be very fragile
That nothing cures the blues like some good old fashioned comfort food
That 40 is the new 25
That pugs are living proof that God has a sense of humor
That some bonds can never be broken
That there is hope in the hopeless
That destiny calls
That you are worth a lot more than what you just walked away from
That lies destroy
That it's never too late to take a wrong and make it right
That you're better off everyday, better off in every way
The power of prayer
That all dogs go to heaven
That the spirit goes on and on and on
That having a strong character, sense of self, and integrity will see you through difficult times
That you are missed
That you are needed
That you are awesome
That you are beautiful
That you are wanted
That you are loved
Let it Rock
Licking the mashed potato spoon
Lobster Mac and Cheese from Dean and Deluca
Leaves of Grass
Light Blue by Dolce and Gabbana
Like a dog without a bone
Linguini w/ red clam sauce
Light and Sweet
There's a restlessness midwinter that's evident in the way the moonlight dances off icicles and glittery branches beaming. Reflecting street cars passing by, winter birds feeding, and pale freckled skin. A restless stirring that stings like the vibration of my cell phone and the snowy wind pelting my face.
But it's more than that. I'm restless from the missing.
And I really need something to help me sleep. To release the tension in my tightly wound muscles, to sooth the burn of absent flesh. Yes. It's coming on. I can feel it mounting, stirring deep inside my restless mind as it attempts to outmaneuver itself at its own game. Rebel! it screams defiantly in the silence of the night.
I'm tired of being told what I need when nobody knows but me. It only makes me restless. What I need and what I want are two different things and I'm even beginning to wear myself down. I don't want to live a lifetime waiting in someone's doubts. Least of all, my own. I'm tired of always doing what is right, tired of taking the high road every time. For once I just want to do what feels good, not what I know I should.
I get too attached. Until I detect the slightest hint of distance, when I cut it off and make a mad dash. Like an animal just released from a trap. I kill it humanely before the hunter has a chance. That begins the cycle of detaching, much like winter when everything dies a temporary death. But there's a restlessness in knowing it's not really dead. It just lay dormant for a half season more. And that's when I remember, it's in the attaching that I feel most alive.
I want it and crave it. When the restless pressure builds beyond this point nobody can talk me down, not even myself. I've hit a wall, I can't give anymore. I need to take, to receive, to engulf, to embody, to ignite, to inflame. I need to throw all caution to the pelting wind and pursue a life full of passion. Because I can.
There's nothing stopping me but me. I can go wherever I want, be whoever I want, do whatever I want. I should take comfort and content in knowing that I haven't gotten myself into anything that I can't get out of. That everything is still possible. But the knowing makes me restless.
I want to seize the day, to gather ye rosebuds while ye may. To taste something as good as a hot bowl of chili on a cold winter day. To suck the marrow out of life and live like a dead poet. Because I always write better when I'm hungry.
I am wide awake. I've been lying in bed just begging sleep to take me on. It's not like the kind of can't sleep you knew as a child on Christmas eve because you were overly psyched about all the cool presents you were going to open the next morning. It's not a good kind of awake.
This is unfamiliar territory for someone who can normally sleep through an atom bomb. But nothing has been normal lately. There's been a lot weighing on my mind, a lot that I don't and won't write about here. A lot of unknowns and may-never-knows. A lot of loss. A lot of fear. Not just my own but others that I care about too.
I am stuck in a vicious cycle of waiting for things to happen but not knowing when. The trouble is that none of them are good things. Yet they are ever looming and it's the unanswered questions of how, when, and why that are keeping me up at night.
I am in tune to every noise that Pugsley makes, fixated on his breathing and snorting, checking tumors for any signs of bleeding. I keep a flashlight on my nightstand so I can shine it on him in the dark if something doesn't sound right. He's been sleeping on the floor lately so I don't have my little cuddle pug snoozing next to me.
So here I am awake and alone thinking anxious thoughts and wishing my phone would ring at this ungodly hour. It doesn't though. And its lonely, being awake at 2:00AM on a school night, wishing someone would tell me a bedtime story. Or something.
Once in a writing class we were asked to interpret the meaning of a poem on the topic of time and then explain what it meant to us.
Students in the class handed in papers based on some of the classics; "A Memory of Youth" by Yeats, excerpts from "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman, and "the Future Never Spoke" by Emily Dickinson.
I wrote my paper based on my interpretation of the song Time by Pink Floyd.
Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way
Tired of lying in the sunshine
Staying home to watch the rain
And you are young and life is long
And there is time to kill today
And then one day you find
Ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run
You missed the starting gun
And you run, and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death
Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught
Or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone
The song is over
Thought I'd something more to say
I wish I'd saved my paper [which btw got me an A in that class] I think I was around 19. It was all about how time is fleeting and the "sun" in the lyrics represents life and when we're younger it all seems so eternal. Like how when we were little our house seemed so big but now as adults the same house seems so small. It was about our perception of things when we are living in the moment versus when we're older and we become aware of the grand scale and importance of things because time has away of stealing them from us. Then we start chasing it to make up for lost opportunities, but we wake up one day and realize it might be too late because we squandered too much away.
When we are young we live completely in the moment. Not really thinking much past when daddy is coming home or when we can have our next ice cream cone. Most of us have really no concept of fear, loss or time. We have virtually no responsibilities or sense of urgency.
Then something happens around the time we become teenagers, maturity and the first twangs of independence start to filter in. Suddenly we start wishing time would advance. We are no longer complacent to stay stuck in the land of childhood. We long to fly from the nest and we start wishing our childhood away, which in retrospect is kind of sad.
We can't wait for time to pass. To turn 16 so we can drive, go on dates, and earn our own money. Before we know it we are longing to reach 18 so we can vote and be of legal age.
The next 3 years all we want to do is turn 21 so we can drink and party.
Then we want to go off to college to find ourselves. To assert our independence and strike out, away from the familiar to define our new world that functions on nobody else's clock.
We spend the next several years chasing freedom with a vengeance until we reach a point where we feel we've gotten enough of it out of our systems so we can settle down again. This is when most people start to long for a familiar to call their own.
Some of us need to remain in this unattached phase longer than others and some skip right over it in a blink jumping from one dependency to another with no time in between for themselves. Which way is better? Which way is right? I don't think there is any one answer. I think it all goes back to the same thing. Timing. Everyone's timing has to be right for them. And everyone is operating on their individual watch.
Then we start to grow older and somewhere around 30 is when we begin to wish we could turn the clocks back. Way back to a time when we were able to live in the moment again to a simpler time before the obligations and responsibilities that come with age, burden the freedom away.
We start to wish we hadn't spent so much of the past wishing all that time away because by now we've had a taste of the sun going down. Most of us have experienced loss and fear. Darkness.
In a mad full circle chain of events we now long to slow things down again. We can sense that time is running out to enjoy ourselves while we still can. To relish in our loved ones while they're still around. To make the most of time with our parents, our grandparents, our siblings, our children, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins, our friends and our pets.
At the same time we become hyper aware that we have a smaller window of time in which to accomplish all of our personal goals; travel to foreign countries, be where we want to be in our careers, learn to play golf, find a mate and marry, have children while we still can. Ultimately taking comfort in watching it all repeat itself over again through their eyes. That's the reward.
Suddenly we become responsible for someone else's time. Someone else who is operating on a completely different clock, which may be the scariest thing of all. Because we have learned that time is the most precious commodity and not only do we not want to waste any of our own time, we also don't want to waste any of theirs.
If I had to rewrite my paper now in my 30's this is the part I would include. The part I've come to realize over the years. How it's not so much time itself that defines our human relationships. But our individual timing and the cumulative effects of where we're at along the sun lit path when we happen into one another's world.
I miss sitting by the fire in a circle of friends
Coolers, lobster tails, summers that never end
I miss porches, sand boxes, patios and decks
Swinging on trees, nuzzling necks
I miss burgers, tossed salad, tiki torches and roses
Fresh cut grass, clean cotton candles, and baby noses
I miss playing board games, talking and getting involved
Trusting in a feeling and watching it evolve
I miss chasing toddlers, red rover, mass on Sunday morning
Laughing in the rain and kisses coming at me without any warning
I miss summering at the cape and wintering in Vermont...
Forgetting what it feels like to always want
I miss bath tubs, summer skirts, and braiding long hair
Sunrise and sunsets, and someone who cares
I miss log cabins, campfires, and scenic lakes
Trust and friendship, love that doesn't hesitate
I miss Dean and Deluca, shopping in Soho, and catching the six
Journaling on Metro North and coming home to the sticks
I miss poker chips and set back with partners holding trump
Petting my dog without finding any lumps
I miss hard wood floors, central air, having my own space
King size beds with sleeping pugs and your beautiful face
I miss the feeling of your skin on my skin
What we almost were and could have been
Cetaphil, facial cleanser
Citizens of Humanity, jeans
Cardinals in the snow
Carvel, vanilla with mixed sprinkles
Chef Boy Ardee pizza kits
Things that are but should not be
Long lines at Dunkin Donuts every morning that make you late for work
Dunkin Donuts makes personal pizzas now. Why? They should stick to what they know, coffee. And who eats pizza and coffee together?
Pubic hairs on toilet seats
Weekdays drag and weekends fly
Men age better than women
5 day work weeks
Seinfeld is over
$70 to fill up my gas tank
Things that are not but should be
Dog's don't live long enough
Sugar free juice that doesn't taste like chalk
Lowfat cream cheese with chives and onions
Whole wheat everything bagels
Sugar free sherbert
Scratch and sniff computer screens
Mandatory jail time and maximum penalties for animal cruelty
Claiming pets as dependents on tax returns
A cure for cancer
In the spirit of the day, I thought I would share quotes from some of my favorite authors (and a couple unknowns) on the topic of love.
"Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."
- Lord Tennyson
"There is no remedy for love but to love more."
"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."
"Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate. "
"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself."
- Josh Billings
"Love cures people - both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it."
-Dr. Karl Menninger
"Don't forget to love yourself."
"The course of true love never did run smooth."
- William Shakespeare
"If you love someone, let them go. If they return to you, it was meant to be. If they don't, their love was never yours to begin with..."
"Love is like playing the piano. First you must learn to play by the rules, then you must forget the rules and play from your heart."
"Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a teardrop."
"The only people for me are the mad ones. The ones who are mad to love, mad to talk, mad to be saved; the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."
"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."
"A pity beyond all telling is hid in the heart of love
-William Butler Yeats
"All you need is love..."
- John Lennon & Paul McCartney
"Anxiety is love's greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic."
"That's what real love amounts to- letting a person be what he really is. Most people love you for who you pretend to be. To keep their love, you keep pretending- performing. You get to love the pretense. It's true, we're locked in an image, an act"
"We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly."
"Thou art to me a delicious torment."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Was it love or was it the idea of being in love?
"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."
- Mother Teresa
"In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make"
"To love and win is the best thing. To love and lose, the next best."
-William M. Thackeray
"Do not seek the because - in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions."
"Love seeketh not itself to please, nor for itself hath any care, but for another gives its ease, and builds a Heaven in Hell's despair."
"Love is the most beautiful of dreams and the worst of nightmares."
"There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness."
- Friedrich Nietzsche
"Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired."
- Mark Twain
"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind; and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind. "
- William Shakespeare
What are some of your favorite thoughts on love?
I am watching the Westminster Dog Show right now; it's like my super bowl.
I sleep with the fan on year round. Even on the coldest day of the winter. I am addicted to the constant humming noise.
I spent Saturday night at a church dinner.
I love to sleep more than is probably healthy. I can easily sleep in 12 hour clips on the weekends and even then I only wake up because the phone rings or Pugsley wants to go out.
Pugs weren't my first love of dog breeds, Beagles were.
I love watching old cheesy movies from the 70's and 80's and I'm always hunting on eBay and in the DVD bargain bins at Wal-Mart for classic gems that I can add to my collection. Some of my recent additions - Urban Cowboy, Mommie Dearest, Meatballs, and the White Buffalo.
I wear the same perfume every day when I leave the house, Dolce & Gabbana "Light Blue"
I've never had short hair
I'm somebody who needs their space, I can't stand to feel like I'm being smothered or I will withdraw.
My weight has remained the same (give or take 5 pounds in either direction) since I was 16.
I hate the sound of my alarm clock more than any other sound in the world.
I don't trust people who are mean to animals or don't like dogs.
I am most easily annoyed and disgusted by pretentious people, people who judge other people, and people who talk behind people's backs.
Sometimes I go to matinees and have lunch at the local sushi bar by myself.
I have an unhealthy addiction to eBay and at times I am too stubborn for my own good.
I'm a natural debater. Many have told me I should have become a lawyer because I can argue any case.
and because what's fair is fair, here is my man list...
1. How to give vague answers that aren't exactly direct lies, but aren't absolute truths either
2. Chemistry is key
3. When to cut your losses and move on
4. That I look good naked
6. To take chances
7. You should never try to change someone, you have to accept them as they are (flaws and all) or it will never work
8. When to stop talking and start kissing
9. That I won't get what I want if I don't ask for it. They aren't mind readers
10. The best summer day is sitting outside with some beers, a BBQ, and good conversation
1. How to be completely selfless, putting your own needs aside to nurture and take care of others
2. That it's not healthy to always push your needs aside. You have to make time to take care of yourself too
3. That a good cry is healthy once in a while. Sometimes you just need the release
4. How to have productive and effective disagreements
5. What true beauty is
6. The real meaning of friendship
7. That money doesn't buy happiness
8. Intuition, trust it
9. the joy of cooking
10. That the grass isn't greener
Your turn...what have you learned from your relationships with women?
I am thankful for all the people who've come and gone in my life, each having taught me a unique set of important lessons. Not all have been pleasant but most after putting a long period of perspective to it, I can see were necessary.
I'm thankful most of all for those who have been around forever and will continue to stick around and tolerate me and all of my flaws and antics because they get me, or at least I imagine that they do. And it is of course, mutual. I'm thankful for the history, the endurance and standing the test of time...
I'm thankful for those who've come but for what ever reason couldn't stay. Just like a cool summer rainstorm that needed to happen, they appeared at a time just when their visit was needed most and then departed as quickly as the passing shower. But their influence was no less immediate or profound.
I'm thankful for those who've reconnected after losing touch because by no fault of either party, life happened and continues to happen and get in the way but no matter how many years have passed, no matter how lives have changed, in between the hiatus when we come back together it's always like coming home. Like no time has elapsed at all. That is a beautiful and unique thing.
I'm thankful for the new friendships I have in my life, those I'm just now in the process of forming and enjoying the unspoiled perspective they bring. They only know who you are now, they don't know from the journey you've traveled to get here or the history of what formed you. In a way those are the friendships that teach you the most about who you are and where you are going.
I'm thankful even for broken hearts because without them I wouldn't be as strong as I am today or as smart, or as open in some ways and as closed in others.
I'm thankful to all the coworkers over the years, to all of them from the catty to the inspiring from the encouraging to the disparaging, from the sneaky back stabbers to the empowering motivators. Because each one in their own contributory way helped teach me important lessons in the workplace, lessons and social skill sets that I've used over and over and over again throughout the years.
I'm thankful to the dog lovers out there and the rescue community who share a common plight and passion to help the helpless.
I'm thankful for my blog buddies and the people I've met online. The relationships I've formed that I wouldn't have otherwise known had I not kept an online journal.
Thankful for big brothers who fix things when they break. And I don't just mean leaky pipes, electrical circuits, and mechanical malfunctions.
Thankful for all past present and future.
Thankful for puggers who keep on pugging.
Thankful for the faithful who continue to have faith.
Thankful for lovers who continue to love.
Thankful for believers who continue to believe.
Thankful for the inspirations that continue to inspire.
Thankful for readers who continue to read.
Sausage - Pugsley
Sweat pants - cozy
Snow days - more the merrier
Saturdays - stay up late
Sundays - sleep in
Stoli Madras - signature drink
Scary movies - Halloween
Sweaters - wool, cashmere, fair isle
Sweathearts - two
Sinbad - the seven voyages
Scrapbooking - gifts
Sushi - salmon, spicy tuna
Sake - cold
Shopping - everywhere
Salon - Adam B.'s
Sephora - Benefit, Nars
Soft Parade - doors
Seasons - four
SoHo - shopping
Soft baked chocolate chip cookies - lots
Spaghetti and meatballs - favorite
Sanctuary - cargo khakis
Soft serve ice cream - vanilla with mixed sprinkles
Santa Claus - Christmas
Stallion - black
Sound of Music - rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens..
Sea shells - sea shores
Set Back - High, Low, Jack, Game
Swings - pushing kids on them
Seven For All Mankind - jeans
Scarecrows - hayfields
Sour Cream and Onion - chips and dip
Sharp - flat screen TV
"What do you want?" he asked as if preparing to take mental notes assessing my situation to determine if he or any man might be capable of giving it to me.
And I didn't answer fully or even half heartedly because in real life I'm too shy with people I don't know very well to say how I really feel.
So I did what I always do, I tucked it away and gave it some thought and then I made up a mental list of how I would have answered if I was being totally forthright in the moment or if he was someone I cared enough to divulge it all to.
I want someone who can accept me with all my flaws and not try to change me. Someone who can embrace my dark side and indulge my light side.
I want someone to care about me. I want their time, not their money. I want someone who isn't afraid to show me exactly who they are, faults and all.
I want someone who is capable of monogamy.
I want to trust fully and completely and to be trusted fully and completely. I want someone who will always be honest even if they think the truth is not what I want to hear. I want them to trust me enough to let me make that decision.
I want to feel Pugsley's warm chin rest on my foot forever.
I want to take golf lessons and learn how to drive the ball 200 yards.
I want a little cousin for my new nephew to grow up with.
I want to eat salads for lunch with mixed baby greens and fried goat cheese balls, lobster bisque and fresh crusty bread for dipping. For dinner I want pastas in pink sauce and eight-ounce filets cooked medium rare in a light Gorgonzola brandy sauce. I want Caymus cabernet 2004, or Silver Oak not to get drunk but to enhance the flavor of my food and add to the culinary experience. I want to skip dessert in the restaurant and have it in bed.
I want to go on dates to the Museum of Natural History and the Bronx Zoo.
I want movie night at home with popcorn, candy, and foreplay.
I want to go camping at Yellowstone and the Grand Teton. I want to go to Montana and catch a rainbow trout in the Big Blackfoot River. I want to ride horses and stay on a ranch with a fireplace at sunset and drink coffee on the porch at sunrise.
I want to vacation in Greece and stay in the white cliff houses of Santorini, to lay naked on the beaches of the Aegean Sea and visit the Acropolis and the Parthenon.
I want to go to Ireland and stay in a castle. I want to drink dark beer in pubs and meet Bono in Dublin.
I want to go to England and see the Globe Theatre.
I want to live my life openly and honestly, like a playwright.
I want to visit Italy, eat pasta in Milan and go shopping in Paris.
I want to eat, pray, love.
I want to share my bed with someone in addition to Pugsley.
I want to wear cute cords and preppy sweaters all fall and winter long.
I want a pair of brown boots, black boots, and Sherpa boots. I want boots for every occasion.
I want to grow my hair really long and let it dry naturally without any products or blow dryer.
I want to drape my body in Juicy Couture velour track suits. I want one in every color.
I want bi-weekly pedicures all year long because I think it's important to take care of ones feet.
I want to eat cheeseburgers cooked medium rare with fries cooked well done squirted with pickle juice. I want home made chocolate chip cookies in the winter and snow days near the fireplace.
I want to go on golf dates and to sporting events.
I want something else to believe in.
I want a house on a wooded lot with a gourmet kitchen and Jacuzzi tub.
I want two plasma TV's. One for my living room and one for my bedroom.
I want a landscaped yard with field stone, cedar chips and perennial flower gardens.
What I realized in doing the exercise is that it's okay to want the simplest of things as much as it's okay to want the material things because we work hard and we only go around once in this life.
And I think he would have been pleasantly surprised and frightened by my answers. Surprised to know that the material wants and nice to haves are things I can give to myself easily enough. But it's the simple things that don't cost money and actually mean something that I want more.
So I thought if he was someone capable of giving that to me I might have told him that in the uphill battle of attainment it doesn't mean I've stopped wanting, it means I'm halfway there to having it all. And then he might have kissed me, and I would be.
Nancy was a farm girl. You liked her because she was sweet to you. She had blue eyes and a size 23 waist.
Diane was tall and thin. She was the first girl who let you past 3rd on the beach at night. Not long after she became a lesbian and you didn't seem to care.
Marcia was your first love who moved away and broke your heart. She had big aspirations for law school and a phd.
Debbie was beautiful but emotionally distant. She had a penchant for bad boys who drove too fast. She married the guy after you, he was a race car driver. They divorced a couple years later.
Maura was a type A, over achiever who excelled in academics and sports. She went to Fordham University and you'd take the train to visit on weekends. You never got over her and then one day I came in to find her in your bed.
Terri was un-naturally blonde, Jewish and petite. She was more interested in diamonds and gold than your marriage and she proved it by cheating on you. Twice.
Alice was tall and slender with black hair and pale skin. You lived together as co dependents feeding off of one another's insecurities and self destructions, like vampires.
Sandy was a nurse with a big smile and Catholic upbringing. She worked out and stood by you for as long as she could until she realized you'd never be able to give her what she needed. She left and married a doctor at 28.
Then there were the countless nameless in between. The pathological liar, the goth girl who practiced witchery on the side, and the one you almost married, who attempted suicide because she liked to punish you.
On the ride to work in the AM I'm in transition mode, preparing myself mentally for the shift from weekend/night mode to daytime work mode. I think about all the meetings I need to attend, calls I have to make, appointments I have to keep, deadlines I have to meet, projects I have to complete. For the next 9 hours I don't think about myself at all. It's not until the drive home when I flip the transition switch back to personal thoughts and I allow in the stock pile that's been building throughout the day.
First item on the agenda - food. I'm thinking about what I'm going to do to my jumbo sea scallops when I get home. It will have to be something quick and satisfying for a Monday night. I might grill them in a light teriyaki sauce along with a medley of summer squash and fresh mushrooms marinated in foil. Maybe I'll pan sear the gigantic beauties in flour, extra virgin olive oil and garlic bits adding in white wine at the end to make a thick bubbly sauce that I can pour over the crusted scallops and serve with a side of whole wheat cous cous and maybe some broccoli and red pepper mixed in for good measure. Mmmm, a side of linguini would work too as would a piece of Texas Toast were I not watching my carb intake. It's bikini season you know. Scallops on a bed of mesculin greens is another option I'm contemplating. But I'll probably compromise with the cous cous.
My mind races over to Pugsley. It was almost a year ago since the big "C" and I believe he is doing well on his holistic herbs and supplements. His quality of life is off the charts. Most days I only wish I had his life. Eat. Sleep. Crap. Play. Kisses, Belly Rubs, Nap. Eat. Snooze. Play. More kisses, more belly rubs and have his every little whim catered to. No worries in the quality department. No new lumps at last inspection but there are some enlarged lymph nodes near the surgical site that cause me concern. That and some ongoing coughing which I suspect is a side effect of the "herbal chemo treatment", Poly MVA. It's a nontoxic, powerful antioxidant formula that protects both cellular DNA and RNA. It's a new formula scientifically designed to "fix the cell" and control the cancer, rather than "fight the cancer" and poison the system. Pugsley's holistic Dr. has described it as his "best defense" against the cancer. The only problem is after prolonged use, it seems to be burning his throat or causing him some type of reflux issue. He was waking every morning gasping, trying to choke up something but nothing would come out. It was becoming more frequent, several times a day. I stopped the Poly MVA for a week and sure enough the couching has subsided. I need to connect with the holistic Dr. tomorrow to weigh the side effects against the benefits of this treatment. Like everything else it's become a balancing act.
Speaking about balancing, my thoughts jump over to my friends and my family and I wonder if I've done all I can for them this week. Did I make enough time for them all? Was I there for them everytime they needed me? Did I make enough efforts, calls and appearances? Did I show up for all the functions I was invited to? Was I a good enough friend, sister, and daughter? The answer is I tried but I always feel like I should be doing more and then there's guilt. I could have made more calls or visits instead of take naps. I could have stayed longer at the birthday party, and it was probably selfish of me to stow away for a Harry Potter matinee because I needed the mindless escape into a make believe world of witches and wizardry rather than deal with reality for 2 hours.
I think about relationships and missing boats and how much easier dating was in my twenties than it is in my thirties. People are smarter in their 30's and have less to give. They have less of themselves to share, less time to spend and a lower tolerance threshold in general. I know I do. I think if they've made it this far without ever being married, they've probably figured out by now that while it would be nice to share their life with someone, they don't really need someone else in the same way they believed they did when they were younger. Maybe by now they've seen some of their friends who married in their twenties go through painful separations or nasty divorces. Maybe they've seen loved ones suffer in unhappy marriages that started out like a sonnet but ended up like Alcatraz. By this time we've fought more battles and conquered more fears on our own so we have a confidence now in ourselves that we didn't have back then and it's generally become a lot easier to sniff out bullshit when we hear it. Particularly the same bullshit that we've dealt with in the past and the big question becomes, is it really worth giving up our freedom and comforts to deal with all that all over again? The answer to this question, for me at least is it would have to be someone really cool who rocked my world to even make it worthwhile.
So I begin to wonder if I'm just destined to wander through this world alone, dealing with things one by one without the quiet support and intimacy that comes with being in a truly healthy, happy relationship. The keyword is healthy and I haven't had one of those in a very long time.
Speaking of time, I think about timing a lot too and how everything that happens or doesn't happen is a direct result of good timing or bad timing. A result of being in the right place at the right time, or the wrong place at the wrong time or in the right place at the wrong time and the wrong place at the right time.
And I'm thinking there are two kinds of people in this world, there are finders and seekers. There are those who find things, stumble onto them magically out of pure happenstance strings of luck and coincidence. Finders are people who meet their soul mates in high school and never have to seek for they have already found. Finders land their dream jobs fresh out of college and never have to interview or make big career moves. I envy Finders in a lot of ways. I'm more of a seeker in every way. I seek and seek and sometimes I find but more often than not the things I find only lead me to more seeking. It's not bad if you've mastered the art of how to enjoy the journey rather than fixate on the destination but I'll be honest, some days the seeking can become an exhausting and lonely trek. The grass is never greener no matter how you mow your lawn.
I want everyone to be happy, including me. I might say a prayer for even those who'd seek to harm me because maybe if they found peace they wouldn't seek to harm. I think about what I'm going to blog about tonight to keep it fresh and entertaining for all you lovely readers so you'll want to keep coming back for more. I think about what stories to tell and what not to tell. Which pictures to show and what not to show, should I dig deep or give something on the surface? How can I make the most of my workouts and get to the next plateau? How can I find time next weekend to do everything I want to do and not offend anyone for the things I can't squeeze in? I should make a list of all the questions I want to ask the Dr. so I don't forget and I need to buy a new fan and return some calls and condition my hair and iron some clothes and charge my Blackberry, schedule a wax, and bid on an auction. Its Sopranos rerun on Bravo, every night is belly rub night and kiss the pug before we sleep.
All this in a 20 mile drive.
Pumpkin Bisque w/ raspberry swirl
Pizza w/ thin crust
Pan seared Scallops
Pantene Pro V conditioner
Peony flavored lychee sake
Pennies from Heaven
Am I weird?
I'm starting to think I must be. Not because of my own perceptions of myself but because of how others perceive me.
"When the Doors of Perception are cleansed, man will see things as they truly are, infinite." William Blake.
Not that I care. Obviously.
Is that wrong?
Because I like living out loud and need some outlets
Because I have slacker tendencies and it makes me accountable
Because people tell me that I think like a man.
And I don't think that's a bad thing..
Because I'm a creative person with a lot of thoughts and they need someplace to go so I put them here, on my blog to be heard or understood but the irony is that it only ends up making me feel more misunderstood. Life is funny and cruel all at once. I coined that one today.
I should be a writer or a marketer.
Oh wait, I am.
By day and by night, by hook or by crook...... So maybe just maybe I'm doing exactly what I am for a reason or a season or a lifetime......
Missunderstood. Not because of me but because of other people's interpretations of the small parts that I share, of what they think they've formed. Kind of like no two people can read a poem or look at a painting and think the exact same thing. Projection. Not by what I write, think, or feel but by what they perceive it to mean, because of where they are at in their own lives, not necessarily where I'm at in mine. I realize it over and over that it's not a reflection of me, but them. and you.
It's all good. It's meant to be thought provoking after all.
My favorite CD to listen to when I work out is Nirvana's Nevermind. Every song on it describes the last 10 years of my life. Or is it 15? I'm losing count..
"Love myself, better than you. I know it's wrong so what should I do?"
I bet if Kurt or Jim were alive they'd be blogging too. Not for comments or publication or commercialism or blog ad revenue, but because they have to. Because deep down we're all sensitive artists with feelings to share.
Let it all out into the universe and then see what it gives back. And it helps to know what adjustments need to be made.
I'm goal oriented.
"I'm on a plane, I can't complain"
It's got the right fast-to-slow songs, tempo peaks and valleys to take me from warm up to interval training to cool down in exactly 45 minutes. try it. you'll see.
It's like how Dark Side of the Moon goes with the Wizard of Oz or Tori Amos's Boys for Pele goes with the twinkling of Christmas tree lights. Like pinecones and resin or Blueberry tea and banana bread. Mmmmm
Endorphins make me happy and horny.
I want to live my life honestly and openly
"With the lights out, it's less dangerous"
And I don't care who shits on it because the truth is more important to me than anything else.
"Here we are now, entertain us"
"I feel stupid, and contagious"
And at the end of each day I'm the only one who really understands myself..
But I do it anyway because I'm a little bit renaissance and a little bit grunge, at the core and I can only write about the things I know and the things I'm passionate about..
Like Sex, Pugs, and Rock and Roll
I wish I could write fiction but my brain doesn't know how to process it. It's too tactical and fact based.
Like Lounge Act, track # 9
Truth. Covered in Security.
I can't let you smother me.
I'd like to but it wouldn't work.
Trading off and taking turns.
I don't regret a thing
And I've got this friend, you see
Who makes me feel
That I wanted more than I could steal
I'll arrest myself, I'll wear a shield
I'll go out of my way to prove that I still
Smell her on you
And I wonder what's wrong with me that I idolize dead guys and Freddie for being Freddie. I Want to Break Free. Radio Ga Ga. I write better Under Pressure and I have a huge heart for animals, especially mine.
Yes, you'll see your influences here because I love you too.
"Something In the Way. Ooooohhhh, yea..."
There must have been something in that California air and I'm so glad I know you.
But whatever you're thinking It's just about me.
And Lightening never strikes twice in the same spot.
Whatever - favorite smarmy-ass comeback
Woman - hear me roar
W - Hotel
Water - Spring or well
Wilson - soccer ball from Castaway, best inanimate character from a film. I cried when he floated away...
Willoughby - dashing lothario from Sense and Sensibility
Wunka - a nickname for Pugsley
Woof - Pugsley's low bark
Weeping Willow - one of my favorite trees
When Harry Met Sally - Because men and women can never really be friends when they're both single and attracted.
Wine - Caymus Cabernet 2004
Wasabi - Japanese horseradish
Winter Wonderland - the Harry Connick Jr. version
Who's in Whoville - the tall and the small
Wild at Heart - favorite David Lynch film
Walt Whitman - Leaves of Grass
Wintergreen - gum and mints
Wikipedia - most used search tool
Whole grains - consumption
Wildflowers - all but especially purples and blues
the Wall - favorite Floyd album
White Memorial boardwalk trail - favorite hiking spot
Wharf - San Francisco, seafood eating and sea lion watching
Wright, David - Mets third base hottie
Walmart - DVD bargain bin
Whey Protein - frozen shakes
Whirlpool Jacuzzi - I'll have one in my house, someday
Wilbur - Charlottes Web
White Birch - another favorite tree
What is and What Should Never Be - favorite Zeppelin song
Waterfall - favorite Jimi Hendrix song
With or Without You - U2
Wembley - Freddie Mercury
William Shakespeare - Comedies and Tragedies
Warrior pose - Yoga
Wax On - Wax Off
Whiskers - on pugs and men
Wedding - Nicole and Nick, Napa Valley September 8th.
Will Ferrell - Blades of Glory
Woody Allen - Carnegie Deli special sandwich
Wavy - hair
White Tuna - Albacore
White Seaweed - sushi
Walk the Line - Johhny Cash
Wrinkles - add character
Wishful / Sinful
Wingmaster - Remington 12 guage pump
Whole Wheat - applesauce pancakes
White - tube socks with pink stripes
Watch Hill - Rhode Island
WWW - World Wide Web
Walking - on wooded trails
Wildlife - observing
Wonderbra - for real women with real boobs
Writing - honestly
Anyone else care to share some of their favorite W's?
Aside from the corporate conundrums and daily drifts, dating debacles and blogging chronicles. In apart from weekly physical therapy sessions and in betwixt pug feedings, walkings, and tendings to. Beyond life’s structured responsibilities and obligations, grocery shopping, stopping for gas, convenient meals and everything going soft because I’ve not been able to exercise since last fall, there is another world inside of me, aching to get out. There’s a whole cast of characters, it’s a lot like something you might see on Sundance or the Independent Film Channel. It’s observant and explorative in nature, detail oriented, art house. It’s my mental masturbation. It’s gritty and raw, tender and real, touching and off beat, a little bit eccentric with maybe a foreign twist. You might run into Parker Posey there or handsome but unheard of leading men and adorable little actresses that make me want to have one of my own. An elderly gent with pepper gray hair who drinks too much and desperate but loving figures, boys and girls coming of age innocent but provocative, the newness and learning of it all over again. The sets and props are darkened wet cobble stone streets or a greasy spoon diner with the actors sipping syrupy coffee and chain smoking filter less cigarettes or they're wearing striped scarves on a country farm in a foreign land, vintage wool coats, riding pants and hats, shearling…no wait, white billowy cotton sleep gowns, Victorian or Parisian, dark and European, something like Under the Tuscan Sun only realistic. I wish I’d gone to film school so they’d have somewhere real to go, my characters and backdrops and cinematography. But it wouldn’t be enough to just write about them, I’d have to act and direct it as well. Not to be vain but because nobody else would know them as well as me, their creator. Oftentimes, it feels like that life and sometimes but not often enough the one I actually live, is an independent film and I’m sitting home on a Saturday night watching it play out and then one day I’ll get the call that I’ve been nominated for a Spirit award. I might be wearing something with chevron stripes and distressed denim or maybe a smocked Irish linen apron with straps that cross in the back and button at the hips. I might be a maid or slave but either way I’m probably a poor and tragic heroine or else a rich glamorous 40’s temptress who lounges about in silk Gossamer slips and high heels and makes a sport of seducing men to satiate her artistic hunger. Why not? Anything goes in Indie land where it’s organic and uncut. An exploration of the dark sides of politics, sex, and religion, but not so much we forget to laugh at the stereotypes and opposition because after all, the only time and place that Independent thinking is really acceptable in our society is when it’s in the name of art, which is exactly why I’m drawn to it, the art and the thinking. And even when its not and met with resistance they call it “critically acclaimed” and that makes the socialists hunger for it all the more regardless of whether they love it or hate it, are drawn to it or repelled by it. My love interest, protagonist and antagonist all in one is a British, Irish, or Scottish chap like Joseph or Ralph Fiennes or an older Jonathan Rhys Meyers. There are a lot of romantic scenes on plush beds and in porcelain tubs, in green fields and smoky nightclubs, hotel rooms or cozy cottage inns with fireplaces and bear skin rugs for making love on the floor and all but an ending that you never saw coming, like the ones that always piss me off when they come too quick before you’ve had a chance to digest it and weren’t even sure what it meant to the story. I like my characters and their endings to be neatly defined and fundamentally understood so there’s no question to their ever after.
When we were young I used to be afraid to come to your house. The Beware of Dogs sign and the way they barked and growled storming the gate. But once inside I loved playing with the shepherd mixes, one was white and one was brindle. They reminded me of wolves and stirred something wild in me. I was afraid of the room in your house where your uncle had died years before and it was always remarkably cold in there, with his haunting presence even in the summertime. I loved hanging out in your room that was hidden away in an upstairs nook, at the back of the house and two steps down to a sunken room with navy blue carpet. The top of your dresser was decorated with girlie trinkets, baubles and beads, hair pins, and combs, Avon lip balms in fruity flavors and funky 80's jewelry. We listened to pop music, ate Mentos and talked about boys. We practiced our Lionel Ritchie All Night Long hand slap until we had it down like the video on MTV. In the summertime we went to the brook and played the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Sometimes we met with other friends from the neighborhood and sometimes you walked to my house and I walked to yours. We stood in the big lawn with my boom box under the moon light on Halloween and we played Michael Jacksons Thriller and did the zombie dance ...and in those silly little moments I knew what it was like to have a best friend. Your mother wouldn't let me call your house anymore after the night I snuck out to go to a party. I was devastated and ashamed. But it taught me the importance of loyalty and friendship. To this day I'm still not allowed to call your parents house. But we passed notes in Western Civilization class and signed them BFF. We kept in touch long after you moved and I'm glad we're still friends even though you live so far away.
As a teenager I went to your house and every time we had to pass through the breezeway where your mom had a collection of exotic plants and a lot of wicker. The cats hung out there and your little Dachshund Candy would waddle in to greet me. Your mom was always in the kitchen and garden smells would linger. Vine ripe tomatoes, green bell peppers and fresh cut salads that you ate with every meal. I thought it was cool that she called the bathroom the Loo, in her British accent and your Dad always made me laugh. We'd go upstairs to your room that was covered in pink. There were several shades of pink splashed on the walls and a pink quilt on your bed. You had a big pink dollhouse which I didn't really understand, dolls scared me at night in the dark, their blue eyes staring at me, but I never let on. Directly across the room from the dollhouse was a record player. We listened to your Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and Rolling Stones albums after school and we covered for your brother when he and his friends would sneak in and out of your window where the ladder was strategically placed. We walked everywhere, back when it was safe enough for teenage girls to walk in a small town. We walked through the camp, to each others house, to the movies, to parties. We walked home on the train tracks and you got paranoid whenever a bull frog would gribbet at night so you dug your nails into my arm every time they croaked for the whole walk home. We camped and went to school dances. We told our parents we were sleeping at each others houses but we always ended up somewhere else, didn't we? We got ourselves out of situations that were scary looking back. Like being chased on foot by moving cars and having a creepy stranger with yellow eyes walk into our tent in the middle of the woods. You were there the first time I got drunk on a six pack of Miller and I threw up on rock. You held my hair and rubbed my back. You were there when we needed to escape and we sat on a hill and smoked and philosophized and theorized until we had it all figured out. And life made more sense then under the foggy moonlight than it ever had before. We didn't always agree but we talked and we worked at it because we know what our friendship means. Just like now.
Out in the country down an old dirt road two lots away from a pond and a field, set back into the quiet New England hillside was your childhood home tucked away amongst the evergreens. I loved swimming in your pool and spending time in your kitchen with your mom and your Nanny goat and Kitty Rat and little brother running around in his Spiderman underoos. When we had the munchies there was always a warm Steakum sandwich made with love and care. Nothing has ever tasted quite as good. We rode our bikes down windy trails and we sat by the pond skipping stones. We sang Julian Lennon songs and ruminated over life's big plan, wondering what it had in store. Sitting on a Pebble by the River Playing Guitar. Your bedroom was upstairs back then, before you moved to the finished basement and you shared the space with your sister on one side and you on the other. She threw hot hair rollers at you from her side and I remember thinking I was glad I didn't have a sister because they all must be mean. We went to the races with your uncle and we snuck off to go meet boys. We told our folks we were walking to the movies only we didn't go to see movies. We went to keg parties and bonfires and drank grain alcohol instead and we ate Olympic pizza to sober up before walking home. Like the time we were rabidly starving, mouths watering, hungrier than we'd ever been before. You spent your last $10.00 on a medium pizza and a pitcher of root beer. I was telling you a story using my hand and it flung out of control knocking the pitcher of soda onto our pizza, ruining the entire meal and wasting your last dime. But you never got mad; you laughed the whole way home. You slept over my house and we listened to the Doors. You had a secret crush on my brother and fifteen years later you married him while I stood at your left side. We still laugh about the pizza from time to time.
We were strangers at first. You were in college and I was at my first real job. We were thrown together by pure chance, becoming roommates in a 2 year house share. We bonded right away. You came into my room and played with my pet Iguana, Mr. Mojo Risin'. You listened to my awful dark poetry and I helped you study for your Philosophy class and Plato's Agape, which is funny because it sums up our friendship in its Grecian form. Our lake house was hopping; it was the place to be. You taught me how to cook non fat foods and we moaned about how icky our boy roommate was with his long black hair stuck in the drain, clogging the tub and a ring of slime. On the weekends we followed the band and were the first ones on the dance floor. They played Tie Your Mother Down for you and Smells Like Teen Spirit for me. We had big hair and waify frames. I dressed in Levis and grunge tops and you wore leather minis and low hanging chain belts. We laughed and cried in crowded restrooms and then we had Sunday dinner, together. We moved out and went our separate ways but I knew it wouldn't last. Now we lunch over sushi and shopping dates and mani pedis with a soft and spiritual understanding that's lovely. When I was in the hospital you were the first one at my side, rubbing my feet and yelling at the nurse to take better care. When you heard Pugsley was sick, you were the first to call. When I don't have plans, you invite me along to join in yours. Thank you.
I want to not feel so misunderstood.
I want to hold up on a rainy afternoon, eat a lot of carbs, play my guitar and surf for cool inexpensive things on Ebay.
I want people to respond to my emails after I take the time to write them.
I want to not be afraid to give a boy my phone number.
I want friends who have lost touch to realize it takes two to create distance but it only takes one to reach out and bridge the gap.
I want to not feel guilty for deciding that I cant always be the one to reach out every time.
I want the comment spammers to stop raping my blog.
I want to go on Letterman.
I want to stop caring about people who don’t care about me.
I want to touch Pugsley and not feel any lumps.
I want to know that I gave him the best of everything.
I want to pack up and move to Seattle, drink coffee all day listen to Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix and only wash my hair once a week.
I want to not feel empathy for people who have hurt me.
I want friends to pick up the phone and call because I matter more to them than some disagreement or difference of opinion.
I want to ease the pain and suffering that my loved ones feel.
I want to wake up in the morning and feel good without having to work so hard at it.
I want to not feel so spent at the end of each day.
I want to not have to do 30 exercises a day to make my neck and back pain manageable.
I want custom fitted pottery barn drape shapes on all of my windows.
I want to feel like it meant something.
I want to get my Mojo back, even though it never really left it’s just been dormant for a while.
I want to not be judged.
I want to remember to give thanks everyday.
I want to go to church more.
I want sausage and home fries every morning for breakfast and Entenmanns crumb cake with a cold glass of whole milk every night for dessert.
I want people to not take it personal when I write something that they think is about them. 99.9% of the time, it isn’t.
I want to not always get stuck on the train seated next to the guy who smells like ass.
I want to wake up tomorrow and play guitar like a rock star.
I want people to finish what they start.
I want honesty instead of excuses, truth instead of vague, definitive instead of wonder. I want full answers, not half truths.
I want to spend one year of my life with no concept of time, no alarms to set, no watches to wear, no designated places to be, no awareness of my inner clock.
I want to never forget the look of my grandmother’s hands, the touch of her porcelain skin and the smell of her Jergens hand cream.
I want to buy a house and have huge party with a band and food and a stage set up in the backyard and a campfire. That will happen.
I want to fill my freezer with more than pizza for one.
I want to forget what it's like to want.
I want to not look like a geek girl in my glasses.
I want a foot massage and bubble bath for two.
I want someone to send me a pajamagram because I think it’s the best gift in the world!
I want to live life without any regrets.
I want my loved ones to be of good cheer.
I want to be in a relationship with someone where neither of us feels like we are missing something.
I want to be with a guy who prefers home cooked meals over restaurants and David Lynch film marathons on the couch over crowded bars.
I want to write a children’s book or an adult novel. I could go either way, really.
I want to remember to be grateful for the things I have.
I want to stop wanting.
I have this little keepsake box where I collect things that fall off of Pugsley. All his parts that fall away with time. His whiskers, his claws, and puppy teeth. Someday I’ll make a necklace of it but not for now. I’m saving that for when I really need it. Would that I was thrifty enough to knit a scarf using his apricot fawn colored fur.
I hold onto things and stow them away for safekeeping on a rainy day or when my world falls apart and I need to remember how to feel.
How it felt as a kid in the country, on picnic tables with red and white checkered cloths. Outside and barefoot with burgers and potato salad. The musky smell of canvas tents, burning charcoal and lighter fluid, hibachis, campstoves and bonfires. Fishing poles and coolers filled with beer on ice, boats on lakes in ponds and laughter. Earth, air, water and fire.
Remembering the young and awkward teenage friends (and sometimes more) with nothing much else to do but write and recite poetry under the moonlit hayfields. Was it a dream? Nature was our playground. Imagination, our toy. The graveyard dancer inspires me to draw from the well of living. He makes me a better writer just by reading what he’s written.
It was the poet Oscar Wilde who said:
“The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it... I can resist everything but temptation.”
But what happens when you yield to it and it doesn’t go away? Sometimes it gets stronger and stays and stays and you know you should be storing moments for a rainy day….
I know what it is to want and can’t have. There is no blame and there is no shame when we admit that we're only human. It doesn’t make it right. But somehow it makes it less wrong.
No matter how many times I go to write the game-over entry, I can’t ever seem to find the words. They fall away like time and Pugsley’s graying whiskers. There is no beginning and no end. The story never starts and never finishes. Like a dream and childhood memories that keep repeating but never change, leaving nothing tangible behind but memories of moments.
I fall in love with moments and people’s minds. The beautiful parts they never let me see, their deepest desires and darkest truths. I hunger for it. I want to know what you know. Touch what you touch. See what you see. Feel what you feel. In knowing you, I want to know myself.
Hard to believe it was 2 years ago today that I posted my first official blog entry.
What was I thinking?
Initially the concept was simple. I saw Blogging as a way to integrate my passions and crafts. The internet, writing, and Pugsley. It was a way to flex my writing muscles and stay committed to writing something, everyday. Even if the something was nothing, I knew it would motivate me to see it online where other people could see it too. I saw my foray into the world of blogging as a way for friends and family to keep tabs on me in a hectic world where phone calls get left behind in lieu of daily obligations. Where, emails go unanswered, and visits become fewer and farther between. It was a way for me to keep tabs on Pugsley when I can’t be at home by watching him on his Pugcams. ******Don’t worry the pugcams will be turned back on in the new house.
A couple entries, a couple comments, and I was off to the races.
A few months in and things took a turn. There was a period of broken hearts and illness and death. Naturally my writing reflected it. How could it not? The Blog began imitating life. It soon became more about venting and mending. Much to my surprise, more people responded. Not just people I knew, other bloggers, people who Googled. They commented, commiserated, emailed encouraged and applauded. The best part was that it gave me a creative outlet to release the angst and anguish. At some point it became less about anger and more about healing. It was like online therapy for $9.95 per month. And I liked it.
Early in 2005 it took yet another turn. That’s about the time I’d say I found my “voice”. I had a better idea of what I wanted it to be. I wanted it to be honest, raw, funny, thought provoking, and real. I dug into my past for secret story telling that begged to be told.
I wanted to debate hot topics that nobody else discussed. I wanted to talk about sex without shame. I wanted it to be about dogs and humans; I wanted to not care if I pissed people off. I had opinions and wanted them to be known. I had a flare for expression that I wanted to test in a live interactive environment. I had been holding shit inside and I wanted to release it. This would become an ongoing theme. And people kept coming back to read.
Last summer when the USA Today story hit, I instantly acquired a whole new audience of readers. People who want to read about pugs, men who want to know more about bikini waxing, more comments, more emails, more attention. More pressure to please. I suddenly became filled with fear that Aunts and Uncles were going to be reading my reviews on vibrators. Coworkers who didn’t know about my Blog (though most of them did know) would be judging me. Friends who once read to stay in touch were now cringing at some of the things I’d put out there.
And then I had to make some decisions. The way I saw it, I had a couple options. I could change my format to appease others and stop writing certain things out of fear. I could write only about Pugs and the rescue work I do to make those people happy. I could write only the racy, saucy entries to keep the boys (and some of the girls) entertained. I could go all vanilla now that the extended family and the rest of the free world has the URL.
Or I can remain true to my convictions and write what I want regardless of who will judge, who I might piss off, and who will simply not get it. I can remind myself that the people who matter to me will understand that I do what I do because I am who I am and they will love me for it and wouldn't have me any other way.....I can say the thoughts that need to be said and I can just decide to Blog like nobody’s watching.
There have been some challenges. The endless battling of comment spam. Dealing with some crappy web hosting companies. Freaks I’ve had to ban from the site. Resisting the ever looming temptations to air dirty laundry in the public blog forum. Though I must point out that I’ve never used real names to protect the guilty and spare the innocent. There have been technical malfunctions and one or two things I’ve written that have hurt people and I am deeply remorseful for that. There have been things I’ve written that I’ve regretted. But I did learn from it. At the end of the day it’s hard to be an opinionated writer, in any forum and a natural born people pleaser at the same time. I guess I’m both. The bottom line is at some point you will inevitably say something that someone else doesn’t like or agree with. And you kind of just have to let it go.
Overall I’d have to say the last two years as a Blogger have been highly rewarding in a variety of ways. I love looking back at something I wrote months or years ago and then realizing how completely different I feel about it now. It’s recordkeeping of memory and perspective. It’s documenting growth. I enjoy sifting through my pictures from time to time, it’s like having an online scrapbook. I like looking back to see my different hairstyles and the way Pugsley has changed over the years. Understanding where you are coming from helps you remember where you want to go. Keeps your eye on the ball.
The best and most unexpected thing I’ve gained from blogging is the friends I’ve made and relationships I’ve formed. With other bloggers, with readers who keep in touch on a regular basis. With old friends who have reconnected with me through my Blog, with new friends and cousins I never knew I had. Oh, and comments, comments, I love the comments! I totally admit it, I am a comment whore. I enjoy the feedback from people, from the regulars, the seldoms, and the newbies. Keep them coming!
Who’s to say where the blog will go next? Basically, I approach blogging the same way I approach life. I ride the wave and see where it takes me. But I may have a couple tricks up my sleeve….stay tuned.
"Is this the famous Lori S. herself?" he asks
"It is I, and if you are you, how did you find me?"
“You don’t realize how famous you are Lori” he said.
And I’m still half skeptical typing in IM to the commenter yesterday who told me he was a NYC Playwright and wanted to use some of my Blog material for an upcoming Off-Broadway play.
"So how is it possible that a successful NYC Playwright is one of my biggest fans?" I asked him.
He said he found me a year ago while doing research for his new play, Jane Ho. The story about a prostitute with a heart. Wait, but that’s not why he found me....he was looking for other writers who write similar stories, about the human condition and relationship to oneself. Then he came across my blog and has been a faithful reader eversince.
"My strengths are my openings and endings" I said..
"Mine are my dialog and structure, perhaps we were meant to know one another."
I’ll make a long story short. He is real. I wasn’t sure until he sent me his latest script and I was moved, almost to tears. In addition to writing 15 plays he is also a working actor who has appeared in CSI and Law and Order among other notables. We are in discussions on a collaboration. Either way, it feels like a mutual friendship of artistic integrity and respect has been born. I'll keep you posted as the details unfold....
Though I keep waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out and tell me I been Punk’d.
The power of words always amazes me. If the eyes are a window to the soul, then words must be the doorway. The right word formed in the right sentence can make me weep or laugh out loud. I delight in taking words and building anecdotes, embellishing nonfiction that longs to be told. My past that begs to leave a trace with lines, hard hitting lines that deliver an uppercut punch and left hook to the gut. Words transfer thought to paper, infuse wisdom, gain trust. Words can make you sane and words can drive you nuts.
I’ve delivered words in eulogies and sent thoughtful emails to friends. I’ve decorated holiday cards with stamps, stencils, and pens. Colored cardboard cut-out paper with fancy scissor edging, glistening gold calligraphy markers outlined with my prose. I’ve utilized words to write my way through pain in my private journals that nobody else knows. I’ve used words to provide laughter and teaching to a toddler, to bring cheer to a bereft friend. I’ve wielded words like a sword to wound and punish. And then I’ve used words of atonement to make amends.
The words I’ve used to comfort Pugsley with my funny little voice that to him is home. It makes me sad that he no longer hears all of my words. So I’ve taken to exaggerated facial gestures, hand signals, and tone. Words replaced with gentle guiding to warn against other dog’s growling and approaching car engines. All the sounds that can no longer be heard. Like, “My Sweet Little Sausage” and "What a Good Boy!" But it hasn’t stopped me from speaking the words.
I’ve repeated words like anthems, mantras to keep my spirit alive. Spoken Holy words aloud in mass at Five. Words of Gospel, words of hymn. Acts of Contrition, forgiveness for sin. “Lord Have Mercy, Christ Have Mercy.” I’ve recited the Our Father and the Apostles' Creed more times than I can reveal. “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed”.
I’ve used words to negotiate contracts and close business deals, to make other men rich but never saw a dime. I've used words to make a swift end, to cut and run and also to bide time. I’ve used them to terminate, ruminate, resonate, to heal. Words I’ve whispered into the sweet ears of lovers, dreamy pillow talk on a rainy Sunday morning. Words to woo suitors, to show them I'm for real.
I’ve given up entire days to speak only in Shakespearian tongue and write Elizabethan verse. Words of comedies and tragedies, plays I’ve rehearsed. One word spoken by a man can make me weak in the knees or gush in anticipation. Words that beseech. I’ve seen more heartfelt words spoken silently in a glance than could ever be conveyed as powerfully with speech.
The hardest words for me are the words that never arrive. Writers block, a missed birthday, a boy who's too busy to call and say, "hi". The doctors office with test results, a prospective employer after an interview. The empty words are enough to make me go numb. I’ve sat by the phone hanging on hope against hope -- only for those words to never come. The worst of words are those that never have a chance to be said. The words that get filed away forever with regret.
I wonder what words my future has in store. Words on paper, words in print. Words on deeds, more words of repent. Wonderful words I’d given up hope of ever hearing. Baby's first words, words in church I’ve yet to speak. Words that make you strong, words that make you weak. Words that bring sorrow, words that bring fright. Words when the phone rings at 4:00 am like a thief in the night. Words that make you laugh, words that make you cry. Words of truth, words of lie. Words of hello, words of goodbye. Words that dance, and words that die.
If I wasn't true to myself, I'd be lying to everyone.
If you could peek inside my heart and see how much Love I have for Pugsley it would astound you.
If I was a Shakespeare character, I would be Ophelia.
If I could be anywhere in the world right now, I would be in the Gulf Coast helping animals.
If I was willing to take whatever crumbs you throw my way, how much would you really respect me?
If I was able to turn it on and off, I'd either be a water faucet or a guy.
If I made your heart skip a beat, would you tell me?
If I have one flaw that repeatedly gets me into trouble, it's an addictive personality.
If I have one talent, it's being able to express what I think and how I feel.
If all the good ones are taken, what does that leave for me?
If I'm wrong, prove it.
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If we didn't part, you never would have met your wife and had your daughter. It's as it should be and I'm happy for you.
If I've lost touch with old friends, it's not because I've forgotten you, it's not that I don't miss you. It just means we are traveling on different roads right now and I look forward to the day we meet again.
If I never fell flat on my face, I wouldn't have learned how to get up and dust myself off.
If I have a strong opinion about something that affects me personally, I will be blunt and speak or write about it.
If I am blunt, it doesn't mean I'm a bitch. It means I am interested in the bottom line. It's just how my brain works to cut through all the B.S. and get down to what matters.
If we take out the "Under God" in our Pledge of Allegiance, I fear for our country and our children's future.
If you can age in your lifetime with dignity, wisdom, and grace, that is a thing of beauty.
If I never found your friendship, some part of me would still be lost.
If I didn't stand up for myself, nobody else would stand up for me.
If God has a plan for all of us, then we aren't really in control of our own destiny.
If all good things come to those who wait, I must be sitting on a windfall.
If you could make my toes curl I would probably Love you forever.
If I haven't been a good enough friend, I'm sorry.
If you needed me, I'd be there.
If the average woman had access to a personal trainer, fashion stylist, nutritionist, hair extensions, make up artists, and good lighting, we would all look like hot celebrities.
If I ever had to sit through another Hugh Grant romantic comedy, I would probably stick toothpicks in my eyeballs.
If I had to choose between being someone's toy on the shelf or nothing at all -- I would choose nothing at all.
If time wasn't fleeting, I wouldn't care.
If guys really want independent chicks, why do they always end up with the needy ones?
If you were mine I would never let you leave the bedroom.
If I could sleep until 9:30 every morning, I would.
If we had it to do over again - Would we? Could we?
If Life was fair, parents wouldn't ever have to outlive their children, children wouldn't have to watch their parents die, siblings would go at the same time, and people wouldn't have to lose their pets.
If I could take away your pain, I would.
If I lived somewhere else, I probably wouldn't be alone right now.
If dreams came true, Bono would drop by for tea.
If I didn't know you, I wouldn't really know myself.
If you wanted to see me, you would have made time.
If you wanted to talk, there have been opportunities.
If you really wanted me, nothing would keep you away.
If you hate him, why don't you leave?
If you're miserable, how can you stay?
If you stay, how can I respect you?
If I ever got my hands on you, I wouldn't want to take them off. And then you would call me clingy.
If you gave me half a chance, I would win your affection.
If I hadn't suffered in my past, I wouldn't be able to endure my present or enjoy my future.
If the book of Genesis is the beginning of time and life, how do theologians explain dinosaurs 230 million years ago?
If we'd met at a different time, in a different place, would we be together?
If words had arms, would mine reach out and blanket you while you sleep?
If justice was served, murderers and rapists would be used for vivisection and other experiments instead of animals.
If pot was legal in America, there would be less crime and more peace. The government could tax it and use the money to lower the national debt.
If animal abusers were penalized with more than a slap on the wrist, a lot less animals would suffer and die.
If I wasn't a romantic fool, I would be able to forget you.
If journeys end in lover's meeting, that explains why I feel so jet lagged.
If you were a snake, you'd be a side winder.
If I enjoy a good healthy debate, does that make me argumentative or curious?
If we went on a 12 hour roadtrip, you wouldn't have to turn the radio on.
If you met me in person, would I be everything you imagined?
If someone mistakes passion for anger, does that make them passionate or angry?
If you're going to accuse me of something, make sure you have proof.
If I belonged to someone else, would I still belong to myself?
If I had one wish right now, it would be for Pugsley to never leave me.
If I had a second wish, it would be for us to move and live in our own house.
If I could bring him back for you, I would.
If you said you were sorry, I would be able to forgive you...
If it brings you more pain than pleasure, let it go. Life is too short.
If raindrops were your kisses, I would dance naked in a down pour.
If I have one regret, it's wasting time.
If I live to be 100, I will never forget you.
If you have answers to my questions, would you share them?
If I stopped blogging, would you miss me after I was gone?
If you knew tomorrow would never come, would you let me Love you?
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I've been thinking a lot about doors lately, the doors that open and the doors that close, the rock band and Jim Morrison my inspiration for wanting to be a writer, poet, and muse. The William Blake quote "When the doors of perception are cleansed, man will see things as they truly are, infinite". Well I’ve spent the last year or so here cleansing my perception, and actually a lot longer than that truth be told. I’m not afraid to work hard for something I want or commit myself to it 120%. Critics should know that defeat and naysaying only inspires me to press on harder. I will sit patiently on the sidelines watching and observing all the good things that happen to other people, silently smiling with a polite gesture and some kind of innate awareness that my day will come. I have learned about timing you see. It has to happen when it’s right, when all the stars in the universe are perfectly aligned with your soul and spirit. Only when your mind and heart follow suit will the good stuff begin to flow. It's like Karma only Western.
I saunter about in my own little world observing, doing, day in and day out. Nothing really changes, something funny happens, I blog about it. Whatever. Monday was a particularly heinous day at work fighting non-stop battles, putting out endless fires, arguing with a boy. Every single door that I tried to open got slammed back in my face. I was just getting home, ready to go fetal on the couch with Pugsley tucked up under the backs of my knees (I call it the reverse spoon) when imagine my shock and awe that USA Today came-a-calling.
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Shock. Of all the millions of bloggers on the World Wide Web, they asked little old me if I would be interested in doing an interview for an article on how our society is going more and more public with the sharing of personal information. Would I? For those of you who have been following along here, who have known me, dated me, hated me, you must know that I am all about the sharing of information…..No, not the kind where I post my home address, phone number, and shout out, "Here I am world, come and get me Internet stalkers!!" I'm not an idiot, I've worked in Web Marketing and E-Commerce for nearly 10 years now. Until today, I don't think anyone knew my last name. It's all very careful and controlled. It's only how much I choose to disclose. Heck, I thought it was cool to be published in Jill.
Yep, it’s my 15 minutes alright.
Awe. Suddenly, the reality sets in. Am I good enough? Will they like what they read? Do I have to start parenting my own words to accommodate a G-rated audience? Will I really have to stop writing about PMS and Bikini Waxes? Should I start to spellcheck and edit out my occassional truck driver-like vocabulary for fear of being judged? All because one very savvy (and apparently hungry) reporter Googled “pizza” and up popped my Foot Cheese Pizza blog, where she then happened upon my Bit on Blogging . It was exactly what she was looking for. A door. I always knew Foot Cheese Pizza would be my claim to fame.
At the heart of the article is the question, why put so much of yourself out there? What will people think? My answer is this - The people who are important in my life accept me for who I am, all sides of me. Wacky, racey, sentimental, funny. I like to see how far I can push the envelope and I like to make people laugh. I'm just a girl who loves writing and her Pug. I try to remain genuine to who I am and I think that I'll be ok. My Blog is like Seinfeld, it's a blog about nothing. It's the one area of my life that isn't mandated by anyone else. It is controlled 100% by me and guess what? It works. And, you know the old saying good press or bad press is still press.
So, now that the media is paying attention I will make it clear that I am in fact available for: Penning the next Oscar Winning Screenplay, Book deals, photo shoots, and of course Celebrity Pug Rescue Fundraising Events! That is how my marketing roots play into all of this. More blog traffic, a higher Technorati rating, Reciprocal links, More doors? Sure I want all of that. But it’s not what my blog is about. I have been sitting here blogging my little heart out for the last year on a writers journey.
Of course I realize this isn’t “that day” where the universe is functioning perfectly and all of my dreams will finally be realized. I am just continuing on here today like any other doing what I do, waxing poetic on every excruciating detail of my daily dish. Pondering the what if's, engaging my readers. Today’s headline – Lori and Pugsley in USA Today. Maybe my Blog traffic will spike for a week or two, until the last of the crumpled up discarded "D" sections have been used to line a lone kitty litter box somewhere in McCook Nebraska, and we will be nothing more than a flash in the Blogosphere pan. I'm not green enough to believe that a mere mention in the paper means that I have in some way "arrived". What it does mean though is out of 13.9 million bloggers who they could have written about, they chose me.
Naturally, some part of my overly analytical brain does wonder - what if this is the door I have been waiting my whole life to open? Not in terms of success as an author or even awareness, it’s more than that. To have a national publication recognize me for my writing, validates me in a way that only writing a really great story and then curling up with the knowledge that it will indeed touch someone else’s life, can. Yea it’s narcissistic, it's only 15 minutes, just another door. But today I am one step closer to the Pug Farm, and that feels good.
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I commute two hours for work every day. One hour in the morning, one hour at night. The rides to and from get really boring so I try find little distractions along the way, anything to keep it interesting. A new song on a different stretch of road, surveying other people’s landscapes and their bloom times, driving a new route or stopping at a different coffee place every couple months, switching to a new vehicle every couple years, making an unexpected pit stop along the way, but I’m running out of material. Lately I’ve taken to observing people in their natural habitats, letting my mind wander off imagining what life might be like for them.
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This morning there was an elderly woman sitting on her front stoop eating a piece of fruit while seeing her Grandson off to the school bus. She moved here from an impoverished country some 40 years ago, maybe Ecuador or Columbia. You could see it in the lines on her face, the furrow of her brow, her pastel flowered top, soiled skirt, and bare feet. Her hair was peppered gray and pinned up in a messy bun. She looks like she’s had a really hard life, but in a superbly, honest, honorable way. I bet she makes a mean loaf of bread. I imagine her working 12-hour shifts in a factory or washing dishes somewhere for minimum wage, coming home exhausted pounding out dough on a wooden block in a cramped city apartment year after year. She earns a modest living, just enough to support her family, to give them all the things she never had growing up in a foreign land of struggle. The boy is clearly of the same descent but he looks to be very americanized. He’s wearing a soccer shirt, Sharks Tale backpack, and brand new Nikes. The school bus is stopped waiting but the boy is schlepping and shuffling, dragging his feet underneath him. He’s taking his sweet old time to get on the bus. (I’m slightly annoyed because I’m already running late for work, as usual.) He finally makes it to the bus door, looks back and waves goodbye to his beloved Abuelita. And in that moment I am moved, almost to tears by the beaming look of accomplishment and pride she is wearing on her wrinkled, weathered face. It is so visible and brilliant that it penetrates me from 100 yards and three car lengths away. I can practically envision the last 50 years of her hardships, failures, and successes flash by as she sends her young grandson off to a better life, the one she only ever dreamed of. In him, she realizes that anything is possible. She is full of hope and promise for his future. If he works hard, he could earn a scholarship and be the first one in their family to go to college. He could become a doctor, a lawyer; someday he will raise his own children and tell them great, exaggerated tales of his noble Abuela growing up in their native land. How she was too poor to attend school, or afford shoes, how she milked goats, grew their own vegetables, slaughtered their own meat and how she sacrificed everything for the betterment of their family. She won’t live to see those days of course but she is imagining it all now in that 20 second walk to the bus. She is content in a full circle kind of way. I am humbled and I admire her. I hope I can feel that good about what I’ve accomplished when I reach her age.
At the next bus stop there are two young mothers in their mid 30’s. Each is carrying around an extra 20 pounds of weight on their unkempt frames. The same twenty they’ve been trying to lose eversince their pregnancies seven years ago. Both are very plain looking, hair thrown up haphazardly in loose pony tails, dark circles under their eyes and they are sporting dated exercise clothing. Their kids get on the bus and the mothers wave goodbye with gleeful, encouraging smiles. This is their favorite time of day when 4 times a week they walk together. It’s their “girl time” to exercise, talk and vent about life’s frustrations, but mostly just to rip apart their husbands and then put them back together again, piece by agonizing piece. The brunette is upset about the new 24 year old well-augmented secretary at her husband’s office. She prances about in short skirts telling lavish tales of her weekend sexcapades to her male coworkers. It’s especially disturbing because that’s exactly how she met her husband when they used to work together. She used to be the new office hottie back when she finally landed him at the Corporate Christmas party of ‘96. Flash forward 10 years and the girl is really just a newer, improved version of herself. Now she struggles with trust in her marriage, fear of infidelity, and feeling undesirable, as each monotonous day strips away one more layer of her external beauty. Her only relief and vindication is these daily walks with her neighbor friend, that and the weekly reruns of Desperate Housewives.
Her friend is in a similar situation. Her husband is out late every night at his baseball games, drinking with the boys, shouldering her with all the responsibility of day-to-day parenting. He doesn’t even make it home in time to tuck the kids into bed or read them a book. She feels like a single parent and she might as well be. They stopped making love years ago and except for the occasional couples night out once a month, they don’t really go too many places together anymore. But these women, they have each other and for one full hour every morning they feel alive again, energized, fit, and hopeful that things will improve. They swap strategies. “Therapy worked for Dawn, if only you can convince him to go to counseling or read Men are from Mars” one rationalizes to the other. “How risky ARE boob jobs? Maybe that’s the “lift” you need to spice things up.” Their talk meanders with each power step, they gab about PTA meetings, playing matchmaker with their single friends, about how unattractive they feel, about obligations, and never having enough time for themselves. They talk about how they've given their husbands the best years of their life and for what? Destroying their bodies to create life, in turn sacrificing their own. They are disillusioned; it’s not the fairy tale they always imagined. But they so look forward to their daily hour together. Their walks are about empathy, sharing, bonding with another living breathing human who “gets it”. It’s about the female need to feel understood and validated. By the end of the walk they both start to feel better, even hopeful that things will turn around. They each retire into their own houses, strip off their Target sweats and smelly socks, where standing naked in front of the bathroom mirror comes the stark realization that no matter how many one hour power walks they go on, nothing will ever make them look like Eva Longoria again, but the secretary does.
Just up the street a ways, there is a house with a ramp and each morning I pass by there is a hospice bus parked in the driveway with disabled people moving in and out. I think it must be a home for some sort of outreach handicap program. And every night on way home at exactly 5:15, I see this woman who likes to sit in the front yard in her wheelchair. Her head sort of slopes down to the right side like she doesn’t have the motor function or neck muscles to support it; she might have had a stroke. She is very frail and helpless looking and my first instinct when I see her is always to feel sad. But I can’t because she is always smiling, always waving to the cars that drive by. That’s her thing, the thing she probably waits for all day that brings her peace and joy. I imagine what it must be like to be her, to be mentally challenged, physically broken and yet always mainstain that smile every day, without fail at 5:15. I imagine that her life is filled with an endless array of routines and details, that the familiar is her security. Breakfast at 8:00. Meds at 9:00. Physical therapy at 11:00. Lunch at Noon. Program Activity at 1:00, Rest at 3:00, Oprah at 4:00, 10 minutes to Wopner like Rainman, and Wave to passersby at 5:00. I imagine the space between her routines is filled with looking forward to the next routine. With no expectation or hope that her life will ever hold anything different than those daily patterns that have become so comforting. And what strikes me is how HAPPY she always is. It occurs to me that she might be onto something. If you have no hope and no desire for something more, then you can never be disappointed when the thing you desire doesn’t pan out the way that you hoped. How gently sublime! Because how much different am I actually from her? I have my habits. Wake at 6:00, Work by 8:30, Lunch at 1:30, Home by 6:00, Exercise until 7:30, Walk Pugsley at 8:00. She has just taught me an important lesson, this palsied woman who I don’t even know. She probably can’t speak or walk or even reason with herself and yet she has given me a gift that I’ll carry with me forever and use in my life’s work. She is pure and beautiful. And every night at exactly 5:15 on my way home, I roll down my dark tinted glass to make sure she can see me smiling as I wave back to her.
In the screenplay, my protagonist will be driving a repetitive route that represents the unrealized potential of her life. Accidentally running into people who have important life lessons to teach her. Each one she must actualize before she can attain true happiness of her own. It will start in reverse chronological order with flashback sequences leading up to one heart pounding climax and an unpredictible twist that will take all three stories and tie them together into one neatly interwoven plot. I’d like my heroine to be played by Scarlet Johanson because she is a short feisty blonde with some dangerous curves. I do some of my best thinking when I’m in the car. If only I could find a way to write and drive at the same time.
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