Sunday, October 25, 2009

the season of my miscontent


Well, there wasn't so much celebrating. But there wasn't any moping either. I call that good enough. But, still, being that it's the time of year that I reset my own personal little ticker tape, the early autumn is still a fine time to think about stuff I didn't do, stuff I want to do, and stuff I'd rather not.

I'm waist high in my 30s now (not quite halfway, I'm short waisted, you know) and while it's unreasonable to expect, or even entertain the notion of, like a secret for myself, that I might have a real whoop-de-doo affair next year, I can think of a lot of things I would like to accomplish between now (two days into it) and then (35, holy moly).

A list, for all the people who like lists (me? not so much. even my grocery lists peter out after just a few things and I chase random ideas around like falling leaves):

1. finish Couch to 5k. totally reasonable goal, yes? being down sick for several days + a general unwellness in the house lately put a wrench in what had been a very impressive effort. even i was proud of myself, and you know that's something. i can get back to it. looking forward to it, actually. every little breath and conversation isn't making me cough anymore.

2. sing karaoke. easy. easy enough, anyway. i cannot sing well but i enjoy it and if i said i didn't have a wee bit of a rock star in me, i'd be lying. don't we all? who knows, i might hate it after all, but it's something i must try. you don't have to ask me for an encore but you can clap all the same.

3. visit phoenix. oh, phoenix. i left on such hasty terms and i spoke so often, so openly, of all the things about you i despise. well. it's been two and a half years now. and if absence makes the heart grow fonder. . . i could never live with you again, but i think we can still be friends. not to mention that our time living there was tremendously important for my girl and i would like to take her back, visit old haunts, see old pals, keep from forgetting everything.

4. road trip. not necessarily related to the previous item. we did visit family last year during the week of thanksgiving, but nothing's on the docket this year. and it should be. car travel is the best way to travel and all the people who hate it don't know a thing. my kids are super travelers and we all get cross and fidgety, sure, but we talk, we watch clouds, we try on what it must be like to live in so many random little places. it's the best thing and i don't do it often enough.

5. make some money. red light jokes aside, this will be the most difficult to do. i'm smart and quick and funny and so capable but the only thing that matters is that i haven't worked for pay in a long time and people who hire people find that, i discovered this last year, the unforgivable sin. i wouldn't change this path i'm on. because unless you've got a time machine in your pocket, here i am. if it weren't for all the gray hair and wrinkles, i'd make like i just graduated high school (ha!) and then it would be, wow. isn't she great?! but even when we're talking bottom rung positions, mere cents beyond minimum wage, life experience, gut instinct, rapport, none of those things matter as much as blanks filled in on an application. it's demeaning and discouraging and i'm really better off working for myself. so who knows. income, somehow. that's what.

6. get curtains up on all the windows in the house to mask the goldanged ugly creamy colored mini-blinds, loathed atrocities that they are.

7. order many, many prints of pictures. my photo albums stopped the very day i got my first digital camera (mother's day, 2003) and i rarely, almost never, order prints and, come on, grandkids, gather around the hard drive. no. that will not do. also, i love taking pictures and sometimes, not often, i get some excellent shots and those should be, i'm serious this time, printed up and framed and on the wall.

8. make more stuff. i do not need to elaborate here, right?

9. let go of the stuff that needs to be let go of, which is a roundabout way of saying i have an awful time with change. i want to keep everything i love right in my pocket where i can have it close by for all the things, the good things, the hard things (and my, have there been hard things, 2.5 yrs of so much hard) but life doesn't work that way, apparently. and i can't keep getting offended, broken hearted, every time i'm reminded that it's just never going to be that way again. but do you empty your pockets and start over fresh? or set your things on a little shelf somewhere so you can still see them and think about them now and again? this is what i don't know about.

10. say Yes more often.

11. join a club. remember when marsha tried everything? just to see what she'd like? there should be such opportunity for witty middle-aged(ish) mothers. because i'm not involved enough!

12. get some ink on my upper arm. right side? sure. all these push-ups i do now shouldn't be for naught. what i need is a focal point for all that pre-shower bathroom flexing, don't you think?

13. see more live music. i saw more this last year than the year before. the babies are older (don't let the older one catch me saying baby, either!) and there's really no reason to sit around here so often. i'm such a content homebody, almost all of the time, it's true. but i like the night life.

14. finally install the sign board, poetry board, art and public notice board, whatever you want to call it, in my front yard that i've been aiming to do since i moved into this corner house. we get a lot of foot traffic. i have a pretty big (for a downtown house) front yard. these things should be working together!

Well, that's a good start. I reckon once I click Publish Post I'll remember other ideas because if I'm good at anything, it's coming up with ideas. All day long with the flashes of brilliance. Too bad I let things flash and then they fizzle and, more often than not, I forget.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

me + larry david + a siamese kitten


It's not that I'm anti-napping. It's just that sleeping during daylight hours feels so gross to me. Clammy and groggy and pinching waistbands and vanished time. No thanks. It's just me. But because it's just me and if we're on good terms, you and I, and if you're the napping sort, then I've probably ribbed you about it. Don't sleep your life away! and what not. I'm not the touchy feely sort, so much, so such things are like little quick squeezes to your shoulder. Only teases the ones she loves, or something like that.

So what it comes down to is this: if I'm in bed during the day, something ain't right. I barely left my bed for the past 2 days! So while I'm breaking one rule, on account of swine flu or who knows what, I pretended that it's not verboten for the cats to jump up, clamber around, lay right down on my chest and purr. The No Cats In Bed rule seems superfluous when I'm languishing in wrinkly sheets with lip balm smeared all over my nose. And, anyway, 2 of them didn't realize I fell down on the job and one of them saves his affections for the mister, so it was really just the little one keeping me company. We watched the whole sixth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm together yesterday.

Sick sheets in the wash, fresh sheets on the bed. I wore a supportive undergarment and pants with a zipper today. Improvement! Which, then, must have been just a doozy of a cold, right? Or maybe, as I'm convincing myself, it really was a more serious illness that I kicked into submission with my tireless barrage of oils and vitamins and teas and nasal irrigating and, yeah, napping.

I'm still not completely normal, the children are vaguely unwell (the big girl tucked herself into bed long before her little brother was even in pajamas -so tired.) and I hear talk of cold and flu all around me, it seems. Still in the woods. Not out yet.

So, in case the remedies and treatments and hours of librivox recordings didn't kill it all off, this song will help. It's a start your day off right song, a dancing song, a thrill me like Erasure and I'm fourteen and explode frequently from so much secret love song, a simple, happy, smiling song.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

ten shopping days left!

I've spent too many years doing the whole pathetic woe is me birthday introspection. So I'm due a turn-around, a departure from the doldrums, some unabashed celebrating. And since it's unlikely that the celebrating will involve much more than the cake I remind my daughter to bake me (much as I'd prefer pie, that might be still a bit beyond her almost-eleven yr old kitchen prowess) I am taking this opportunity to engage in a little wish listing. For your entertainment and should, perchance, an anonymous benefactor, or my husband, be reading.

Most of the things I want aren't accessible. Steady income! Health insurance! A singing voice like an angel! And generally I'm accustomed to picking from quirky used treasures in secondhand stores for all my gimme-gimme needs, so it's not often I even think in this direction. But can I compile a list of new things I want? You bet I can!

Here goes. In no particular order.

1. ukulele
2. sport headphones, non-earbud type.
2. stripey socks and tights
3. treadmill
4. unicycle
5. lenses for my rebel
6. sanita clogs, brown oiled leather w/ tan soles
7. curtains for the living room. and dining room. and my bedroom. or just curtain rods. if i had the hardware i would make the curtains myself. hm. or not. stick with curtains.
8. THIS nifty camera, which consoles me the littlest bit over the loss of polaroid film.
9. tall kitchen chair w/ pull-out stool
10. mid-century sectional
11. ink. on my body. bicep tattoo! rawr!
12. submersible blender

Gah, apparently that's the extent to which I can stretch my brain for this silly activity. It's not like I don't ogle the pages of every garnet hill catalog that comes in my mail slot. Because I surely do! So, see, I have plenty of covetous moments, it's that, most of the time, I guess I'm satisfied enough. At least concerning the stuff that can be purchased. I am balls of regret and discontent with regard to all the ephemeral junk of being a person in her (cough) MID thirties.

Next time (not now because if I don't get into the kitchen to clean it up, I'll never get to watch a couple of Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes, which will be shameful what since Season 5 was due back at the library today and I am pushing it already) I will share a list of things I aim to accomplish before my next birthday, not this one. I already blew this year and I'm coming into land with my eyes closed, more or less, already thinking about the take-off and next chance. See? the woeful If Onlys are so much more instinctual than the glad hurrahs. This trying to celebrate idea will be tricky!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

i just want to sparkle for a moment


We soaked it all in and now we're moving on. There was one quick coastal camping trip over the last weekend of September; likely the last tent adventure until next Spring. There was a much anticipated and deeply appreciated visit by a dear friend from far away (Arizona isn't the other side of the world, no. But it's sure not across town and I had not seen my friend in over two years). Greens have faded into golds and reds and, yes, browns and tonight we lit the first fire in the house. Hello, Fall. Guess you're here for real now.

Until it really gets cold-cold, I find the crisp air exhilarating. And on sunny fall days, like today, I like to keep the doors open. Please come inside, though you might not want to remove your sweater. And I was feeling so cozy in my scarf all day, sweeping and baking and doing housewifey things around the house, music blasting, the children, pink-cheeked, in and out and in and out. The cool air in the house, the good things in the oven, the asters blooming on the porch, so sunday afternoon mid-october just right. But sunny/crisp days turn quickly into cold nights when the sun goes down and my lungs were unhappy with the evening activity.

I gasped and wheezed through my intervals, dreaming of treadmills and indoor gyms. I'm so not a gym person. Like I know some people say that. But I really mean it! The whole idea of paying to exercise, in public, with other people, seems wrong. Plus, I genuinely enjoy being outdoors and this newish endeavor has been particularly doable and pleasant, I believe, because I've been outside. So who knows. I cried uncle several times and walked out the rest of the runs, not because the running was so difficult, but because it's hard to run with the squeezing sensation of one's esophagus closing shut and filling with needles. I've noticed remarkable improvement in my breathing stamina since I started running, but if cold air running is always so painful, I'm not sure I will be able to hack it. I definitely don't want to lose my momentum here, so I am hoping the next run renews my confidence.

This song here was on one of my first running podcasts. And I hum it a lot and have since been listening to the band (the boy least likely to) quite a lot lately. If you're able to pull up files online, I especially like the song called Stringing Up Conkers (such a fallish title), but it's not on youtube, sorry, so you get this one instead.