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by KimChi
Rated: 18+ · Book · Inspirational · #1201980
Coffee and ideas bouncing off the walls.
** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **

Grab a cuppa Joe and fall into a seat. Here you may find the latest news, a bit of gossip, a rant, or a movie review. You'll definitely see what makes me tick.

Previous ... 1 2 3 4 -5- 6 7 8 9 10 ... Next
December 16, 2008 at 12:50am
December 16, 2008 at 12:50am
You'd think I'd be delighted with the spring-like weather. The windows are open to a warm breeze heavy with moisture. Gray clouds caress the tops of houses but hold tight to their fertility.

Greasy air hide's the moon's secrets, taunting us with the promise of snow.

It feels oh so wrong to be strolling mid-December with no coat. The sadness invades my aura, dull aches and pains pull me down, into this chair.

Kåre Enga 🇹🇭 Udon Thani is freezing his tuckus off, "Sometimes I am overwhelmed by sadness and I'm complaining about spring-like days. Is it my imagination or is the weather fucked up? Be honest. I don't remember the azaleas blooming in May and again in October, or all the trees budding in autumn, then freezing on the branch. I don't remember having to water the garden every day in summer. And I certainly don't remember wearing a ski coat one day and no coat the next.

By Christmas or New Year's there's at least one slight snow. Some years there's a foot or more, and every 10 years there's a blizzard. The last one was in the 90's, so we're due for some serious white stuff. According to predictions, we're going to have a long cold winter, so I should be happy for temperate days.

This distressed feeling is not of myself--my life is, thankfully, wonderful at the moment. Perhaps I'm inhaling the anxiety of the lean Christmases around me, or still bothered by the image of the dog. Or maybe, I'm picking up on Mother Nature's sadness and confusion.
December 14, 2008 at 10:09am
December 14, 2008 at 10:09am
Despite the house in Woodbridge taking longer to remodel than any before in the history of the universe, despite all my workers calling in with the contractor's equivalent of homework-eating dogs, despite the literal and figurative aches and pains of schlepping to Home Depot and stretching and scrunching an injured back to paint crooked walls, I am happy.

No one wants to move in at Christmas anyway, so why am I rushing around like a headless fowl? Mainly because I'm following hubby's lead. I need to lead him to a sort of zen for my own sanity.

He's a total scrooge and a tightwad, but this year he has been strangely silent about my spending. It may be the new 42 inch plasma that replaces, after three years, the TV I smashed on the front patio. Yes, I did go there. Must have been one of my undiagnosed thyroid storms. Woe unto those who got in my way during a manic phase. Of course now that I'm medicated, I have no excuse to act like a psychopath.

Kinda miss all that energy, but an even temperament is more useful.

We decided no gifts except for our family this year. Our friends were as relieved as we were. And since I haven't gotten a gift since our first year of marriage (a pair of ruby and diamond earrings--I suppose such extravagance was a ten year gift) I decided to take advantage of the sales.

And I am happy. I'm happy with 9 dollars worth of new bulbs for the tree, replacing my mother's 1950's glass ornaments with the color flaked off. I'm happy with my 50 dollar fake silk curtains, replacing the 18 dollar spring/summer Ikea curtains resembling bed sheets. I'm happy with my 30 dollar fake brocade comforter set from Kohl's early bird deals on Black Friday. It replaces a similar set I got last year. I'm happy with my 19 dollar wooden advent calender, because we've never had a permanent one.

It's a holly jolly Christmas. I'm delighted we had the money this year to remodel the teeny bathroom and update the living room. I'm happy with my new Ikea post-modern furniture.When we open our gifts, for once we'll have a scenic backdrop for pictures. When we play with the new Wii, we'll have room to swing the racket.

My dream home is coming together, and my family is showing appreciation for my desire to make our surroundings comfortable and inviting. For the first time in eight years, every item in my living space was chosen by me, placed by me. To clear out the in-laws clutter and made this home my own was all I ever wanted.

Anything less than supreme bliss is a slap in my own face for working my ass off this year to create harmony and beauty. Yup. I'm happy.

Merry Christmas!

December 10, 2008 at 8:50am
December 10, 2008 at 8:50am
Stealth bleading only reminds me how old I am.

I read rants about boring entries with no originality, I read about the life cycle of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and how horny someone was.

Some of it was funny, some entertaining, and some downright stupid. Call my blog boring and unoriginal if you want. No, I don't stray that far from my comfort zone. My life is uneventful. I save the good shit for my fictional stories.

So sue me.

I'm of a certain age, and I certainly don't care if my blogging doesn't flip your switch. While others may be honing their craft or practicing timing, I blog for me, to document my gray life, to keep the brain oiled, and to stay in touch with my friends. If you aren't my friend, why are you reading my blog? Go find someone young, hip, and interesting and leave me to my banality.

I've got no problem with your desire to take the world by the horns and wring out every morsel of irony and satire. I've got no problem with your irrational exuberance and joi de vivre. {sp?}

I do have a problem with the excessive hubris of youth, though. One day you'll be old like me and you'll realize if you don't know shit now, you certainly didn't back then. But have fun anyway. Bang away and make a scene. Live out loud and break all the rules.

Excuse me while I curb my enthusiasm for sticking it to authority and staying up all night. Self preservation rules, and I look so much better in my kitschy holiday sweater raining snowflakes than in a backless hospital gown.

Biting enough?

December 8, 2008 at 8:44am
December 8, 2008 at 8:44am
Doodle's teacher wastes no time. Her first "research paper" is due this week. I picked the moon phases, because I'm not interested in the workings of the space shuttle or why Pluto isn't a planet.

At least I know something about the moon.

If they'd picked the social sciences, English, or history, I'd be in my element. But I guess everyone needs solid roots in Earth Science. Pun intended.

Yule and Christmas will be here before we know it. I don't want to get complacent since I've finished most of the shopping, and forget to gather some stocking stuffers. We can't afford to have a lot of questions this year.

Kids are too smart these days. We've got special wrapping paper, letterhead and "canceled stamp" and some jingle bells ready for right after bedtime. You only get a few years of the magic, so magic it is.

Are you ready for Santa this year? Have you been a good little girl or boy?

What holy days do you celebrate if not Christmas? Are you prepared? Take some time out from the trimming to make some holiday memories.

I've got a million things to do around the house, but I want to decorate and play with dough. We like to make cookies, but this year I want to make some paper garlands for the tree. Maybe some picture ornaments, too. No time to waste--must get the house in order so I can get my Mod-Podge and hot cocoa fix tonight with the fam.

Have a great week!
December 5, 2008 at 7:53pm
December 5, 2008 at 7:53pm
On school:
We have two charter schools. Attendance is determined by lottery.
We have one Spanish immersion school. Anyone can go, but there is a waiting list for native English speakers.

On health:
I had an endoscopy today. My husband kept thinking it was a colonoscopy. Sure enough, I got to the hospital and they asked me to take off my underwear. I found that a bit odd, if not downright kinky. They had me scheduled for a colonoscopy. I politely declined three times, especially right before the anesthesia went in.

Doc said it's gastritis, and to stay on the medicine she keeps prescribing that I stop taking. I think she go me back for ignoring her advice, during the procedure:there's teeny little gophers scratching at my stomach to get out.

On spirituality:
reikidreamer reminded me in her blog that being happy is all in my head. She's back to being the angel of light I first met. It makes me happy seeing her so happy.

On writing:
My muse has left the building.

On politics:
Obama seems to be on his honeymoon with the press. It's refreshing to see the deference and hope from a jaded media. But there's a hole in my heart the size of Texas for the plight of my beloved, Jon Stewart.

On Dancer and Blitzen:
Carrots? check
Cookies and milk? check
Stockings hung? check
Eggnog ? waiting for the 21st to do the alcohol thang

On Gratitude:
This place rocks. It's my cerebral vortex. Wait, that isn't right. Anyway, I can get the fix I need, whether it's to tickle my funny bone or to tickle my brain. In case I forget to tell ya, thanks for the humor, wisdom, encouragement and lifeline this year. *Heart*

On friendship:
The children speak truth with a rhythmic chant, while the adults run in circles, tripping on their own words.

That was totally way cooler last night. I have no idea what I even meant. I was giddy tired.

December 4, 2008 at 11:41am
December 4, 2008 at 11:41am
My daughter gave me a lecture on the solar system last night. "Did you know that the sun is really a star? Did you know it is hot, hotter than a volcano, hotter than LAVA???" Her little mouth dropped open in feigned shock.

Um, yes, I did, dear. But I sure as heck didn't know about stars and lava in kindergarten.

My neighbor this morning said, "I told you so! You will feel like a dunce, and it only gets worse. Wait till next year when they do the "new" new math. By third grade you will be obsolete."


And now I know why there's so much antagonism against the redistricting. While most of the schools around here are good, this one also has a reputation for making learning fun. You just can't beat that combination. The next-best school makes the kids wear uniforms, and does not allow any talking in class or at lunch. You'd think there'd be a middle ground, ya know?

I don't want Doodle to switch schools, but what can I do? The sixty slots for a two minute opinion at the meeting are filled. Besides, the support against the proposed redistricting is overwhelming. I'm sure there's nothing I could say that would make the board see the light.

I want my kid to have the best (free!) education possible, is that so wrong? I hope all the kids in my district get grandfathered in. Being proven a dunce has never made me more happy.
December 2, 2008 at 4:56pm
December 2, 2008 at 4:56pm
I'm having a very good week. I think I hocked up all the familial congestion into my story, and now my chest is free and clear.

Newsletter--done. Not a masterpiece, but they can't all be dissertations, right?

The chakra presentation on Saturday went exceedingly well. I was only nervous for a few minutes, and then I started rolling. I talked for two hours, which is a miracle in itself. Usually I trip over my tongue and can't find the words even to call my own family to dinner. But for some reason, my throat chakra was completely open, and the words rolled out of their own accord. Maybe one day I'll be that comfortable talking about other subjects that I don't know anything about.

The "new" house is rolling along, too. They've changed the rules about rental houses, so this will be our last one. So much for retirement, huh? We don't trust the stock market, and who can blame us? I guess we have to get a new plan now.

We got my nephew to install the cabinets, countertop, and bathroom vanities. We switched out the old faucets and light fixtures, too. The remodeling is costing a fortune, but we hope to have it ready to rent by the 15th. Of course, no one will want to move in two weeks before Christmas, but hey, it's a goal. This whole DIY thing might save money, but it's killing my back. Amazing how funky people let their houses get. But I'm not one to talk, because I saw the otherworldly ectoplasm under my stove when we tiled our own backsplash this summer. *Sick*

I survived Black Friday. Kohl's was a great place to shop. Considering what happened that day, I'm even more thankful. People gave me advice, offered to reach items, said excuse me and thank you, and one lady gave me her cart. People were actually more polite than most days. Best Buy was okay, too. I broke down and got a Wii for Eric and Doodle. (Who am I kidding? *Laugh*) We can't afford it, but I need some type of physical activity for when the snows come. You know, like Rock Band. That's my justification, and I'm sticking with it.

So I'm done with holiday shopping. We agreed with our friends that we'd all dress up and go out to a nice dinner instead of giving gifts. We are usually so busy shopping for the perfect present that there's no time to just hang out. Now, I've got plenty of time to make cookies and watch movies, and gossip with my sister while we wrap for one hour instead of six or eight.

For once, I'm looking forward to the season of joy. Hope you guys have a great December, too!
November 26, 2008 at 8:44pm
November 26, 2008 at 8:44pm
First, I want to say thank you to all of my friends. I appreciate the c-notes and messages as much as the blog comments. You've all shown me that you are there for me when I'm down as well as when I'm up. That's an amazing statement of human nature, and it's also humbling.

I've been working on a story all month long. I've edited it ten times and rewritten it three times, and I think it is close to being finished. I'm not sure if it is too dispassionate or too much information, but it hurt like hell to write it. It's no wonder I was depressed. Here's my entire life--my pain and insecurities, my hubris and arrogance, my desires and my faults all rolled into 2000 words. It started out as a tribute to my brother, but it has to be true, and this is what I was thinking at the funeral. I was thinking about how certain information would kill my father, and how I couldn't forgive one of my brothers, and how both my sisters are freaking certifiable.

And how I love my crazy redneck family anyway. Truth is, Mom held us together, and when she died everything crashed, and we've never been able to arrange the pieces in any kind of meaningful order for eight years. Now that Mikey is gone, maybe we can rebuild it. Because Mikey didn't get along with his brothers or Loretta. He only spoke to me, Dottie, and Dad. Without meaning to, he gave us a reason to talk to each other when he died.

How fucking sad is that?

It's taken me all month to integrate my feelings from that day, what I learned, and how we can go forward now. It was a seriously messed up day, in which I saw my brother get high, *Shock*, my sister get drunk *Shock* *Laugh*, and my other brother do a boot scootin' boogie. I laughed my ass off, had a good time, and forced them into doing it again this summer at a real family reunion. Because Loretta wasn't there. And because it's really hard to do gymnastics wearing a dress. *Bigsmile*

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It is grammatically incorrect, heavy on symbolism, and all true. It's also a new style of writing for me. The passcode is 1960.
November 21, 2008 at 9:03am
November 21, 2008 at 9:03am
You probably didn't notice, but I stopped signing my reviews with "in gratitude". And it isn't because some chick told me it was goofy and sounded like a preacher. I really don't give a shit what she thinks about anything, much less my choice of closing salutations.

I dropped it because I don't feel it. I'm not grateful, which is a hell of a realization right before Thanksgiving.

In my real life, I'm treading water. Every day is gray; every day is the same old same old. I don't even feel like writing, so you know something ain't right.

At WDC, I'm unmotivated. I don't want to write or review because none of it matters. I have no knowledge to impart, and even if I did, no one would listen. So that's why I haven't been around.

Yes, I'm depressed. I'm not sure if this was set off by my brother's death, the weather, menopause, or what. I just know the light needs to shine again, but I don't know how to turn it on.

Sorry to be Debbie Downer today. I'm going to watch Desperate Housewives--that certainly reminds me I have much to be thankful for.

November 12, 2008 at 8:58am
November 12, 2008 at 8:58am
Here's my dirty secret: I hate football.

I also hate boxing, but at least it's honest. In football, the supposed point of the game is to get goals. I have a sneaking suspicion it's more about beating the shit out of other men. Hey, at least that violence is channeled so that the players don't hit their wives, rape women, or hold dog fights. *Oops*

I guess I can't cover up my elitist views here. I long for the days of baseball, apple pie, and pic-i-nics in the park. (But not the ones where the entertainment is watching lines of soldiers shoot at each other.)

Footballs are played in coliseums. Coincidence? I think not. Just bring out the lions and Christians and be done with it. Why all the pretense of calling it a game when it is merely an excuse to see one man get buried under a bunch of 300 pound men?

When you look at it that way, maybe all the money the players get is worth it. NOT!

I admit, I think football players are dumb. Maybe other jocks are dumb too, but not in my (extremely limited) experience. Tennis players and soccer players might be violent, but they aren't supposed to be. Those muscled legs are just, well, sexy.

Maybe that's what I don't like--the physique. Like female weight lifters--once you stop the exercise it all turns to fat. The difference is that football players have enough money to sit in their mansions and beckon servants to do their bidding.

This has been on my mind because I have another dirty little secret--I've been watching "The Real Housewives of Atlanta". God, I love watching women in designer clothes having a knock-down drag-out verbal cat fight. Wars with words are my thang.

One of the ladies invited her ex-husband to the premier of her clothing line. She's a bright, articulate, pulled-together waif of a woman. Her ex? A brutish giant of a man who merely mumbled something that translates into "maybe she'll make something of herself". Impressive vocabulary and diction, there, buddy, not to mention class. *Rolleyes*

So forgive me for my elitism. Or not, I don't care. I wish I had a huge mansion, a nanny, and a bazillion bucks so I'd have time to do a dissertation. I'd call it: "Date Rape, Domestic Violence, and Dog Fights: The Disintegration of a Culture Shown through It's Illicit Affair with Football."

Yes, I know this is an oversimplification, and football is not to blame for all our social ills. But I don't think it helps us become model citizens, either.

That's my opinion, and I'm sticking with it. Besides, I like TV and movies, so I can't blame it on Hollywood!

November 10, 2008 at 11:00am
November 10, 2008 at 11:00am
Pain in the side, pain in the back, pain in the neck.

I assumed (and you know what that means!) that the pain in my side was my pancreas. It was suggested years ago that I have my gallbladder removed. I refused, choosing the natural route. I did several flushes with much disgusting success.

I've been eating rabbit food so long that all my pants are falling off--I've lost over 40 pounds. I also lost my wedding ring the other day while clipping the hedges--slipped off my finger and I didn't notice. We found it after a few frantic minutes of raking.

A month ago the pain came back. This time it was also on the left side. The pain got worse each day until last Saturday, when I cried for hours, even after taking codeine. Knowing my history, I freaked out. Obviously, I had a gallstone stuck in the bile duct, blocking the pancreas.

Last night, I couldn't lie on my left side. The pain descended from my side to my knees, which seemed very odd. I just knew I was dying. Natural childbirth was like picking a scab compared to this pain. My husband talked me into going to the ER.

They took my history, also suspecting pancreatitis. Imagine everyone's surprise to find the blood tests normal, as well as the CAT scan. All my internal organs are just where they are supposed to be, without inflammation or scarring. Including the gallbladder.

Kinda freaky, but such a relief. I was mentally prepared for emergency surgery, only to find out that the pain is more than likely caused by an ULCER or gastritis. I've been taking digestive enzymes to help out my gallbladder when I didn't need them. In fact, I've got too much acid, and the enzymes were making it worse. I'm sure the stress of the last few weeks didn't help.

Got to say I'm downright giddy to know my stomach is messed up. I had no idea an ulcer or gastritis could hurt that bad. I'm actually delighted to have had the sensation of burning flames and knife jabs, considering the alternative of surgery. And now I also have my story for the Quotation Inspiration contest this month, based on this prompt--"If you can't be thankful for what you have, be thankful for what you've escaped."


And as soon as I'm feeling better, I'm going out to dinner. Steak, baked potato with butter, sour cream, cheese, chives, and bacon. You can keep that acidic salad! *Laugh*

November 7, 2008 at 8:46am
November 7, 2008 at 8:46am
Yesterday was Mikey's funeral. I have quite a few thoughts, but none of them are ordered, so I'll save most of the pain of describing my dysfunctional family another day.

When the preacher asked if anyone wanted to say a few words, only my father spoke. He said, "I just want to know why." It broke my heart, as my father rarely speaks, and then only to give advice to others. I could tell the preacher's platitudes about "being in a better place" weren't cutting it.

I did, however, manage to get the whole family to go back to Jimmy's house after the funeral. It was nice seeing all the nieces and nephews I had diapered, now adults--with their own kids who played with Doodle all day. And it did my heart good to know that I'm no longer the black sheep, the adopted one, the spoiled brat. Finally, I'm an equal.

No one fought, which, if you know my family, is a miracle in itself. I take that back--we had a few words about Obama. There's this idea that the whole AA population will suddenly get "uppity" and take to the streets. WTF? But as soon as I made it clear I didn't appreciate a certain word, they fled my presence. As you may expect, I'm not shy about voicing my opinion on important issues. Weird how people know something is wrong and do it anyway.

I found out through this exchange that my brother had disowned his daughter for having a baby with a black man. He's since grown to love the child (didn't even notice she was half black) but only after the divorce. Still, he's mellowed quite a bit in his old age, and he got along famously with my husband, talking about cars and the proper smoking and curing of various meats. My husband is almost as dark as Obama, but I guess slant eyes from predominantly Muslim countries are okay in my brother's world. *Rolleyes*

Eric said he can only take small doses of my redneck family. He's such a wonderful man to support me, and he's right. I can only take small doses myself. Thank God ignorance ain't a catchin' disease. Is it? *Laugh*
November 4, 2008 at 11:40pm
November 4, 2008 at 11:40pm
She doesn't own a dress
Her hair is always a mess,
You catch her stealin' she won't confess
She's Beautiful.

Smokes a pack a day, but wait,
That's me, but anyway
She doesn't care a thing
About that hey,
She thinks I'm beautiful
Meet Virginia

She never comprimises,
Loves babies and surprises,
wears high heels when
she exercises
Ain't it beautuiful
Meet Virginia

Well she wants to be the Queen
Then she thinks about her scene
Pulls her hair back as she screams
"I don't really wanna be the Queen"

Daddy wrestles alligators
Mama works on carborators
Her brother is a fine mediator
For the president
And here she is again on the phone
just like me hates to be alone
we just like to sit at home
and rip on the President
Meet Virginia, Mmmm...

Well she wants to live her life
Then she thinks about her life
Pulls her hair back, as she screams
"I don't really wanna live this life"

She only drinks coffee at midnight
When the moment is not right
Her timing is quite, unusual
You see her confidence is tragic, but her
Intuition magic
And the shape of her body?

Meet Virgina I can't wait to
Meet Virginia, yeah e yeah hey hey hey

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause. He came early this year.

There's magic in the air, because the Old Dominion pulled through for the first time in my life.

I take back everything I've ever said about you. My state is not filled with backwoods racist rednecks selling moonshine in the hills. Despite everything I've seen with my own eyes and the pain I've felt for my friends, ya'll ain't prejudiced against people of color or ignorant of the needs of other cultures.

At least not anymore.

Virginia went to Obama, and I couldn't be more proud to be a Virginian at the moment. Yes, we've birthed quite a few presidents, but of course the deck was stacked in our favor for the first 50 years. Now that there are 50 states, we've faded into the background. Fading into a gorgeous purple, but still mainly southern and conservative. Until tonight.

When Clinton won, I got drunk and danced around the room. Finally, someone I voted for won. But tonight, I cried. Because I was there for an historic moment. I have something to tell my grandkids. It feels so damn good to feel something missing for the last 8 years--hope. Hope that America will be once again respected and admired for more than the size of our guns. Obama brings honesty, integrity, temperance, intelligence, statesmanship--serious attributes we need in serious times.

Not that McCain wasn't a worthy opponent. I've always admired him, and his concession speech was a class act. I have no doubt he would have made a fine president.

Is Obama up to the challenge? I think so, but I guess I'm a little prejudiced. I must have gotten it from my mother. While she used the "n" word frequently because it was what she knew, she also reminded me that the color of my skin made me no better than anyone else. I'm just glad she's finally been proven right.

God bless America!

November 1, 2008 at 1:33pm
November 1, 2008 at 1:33pm
Well, MDuci jinxed me by guessing 15 trick-or-treaters. We only got five. Maybe the decorations this year scared the little ones off? I forgot to take a picture, but trust me--if the talking headstone didn't scare you, the spiders, snakes, and rats did. We never get that many kids in the cul-de-sac, but I was hoping we'd entice them with the decorations. (muahahahaha!)

A reviewer told me I should give a sample of the Ghouls' work, and I thought that was a brillia t idea!

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October 31, 2008 at 8:54am
October 31, 2008 at 8:54am
Bonfire dot the rolling hillsides
Figures dance around and around
To drums that pulse out echoes of darkness
Moving to the pagan sound.

Somewhere in a hidden memory
Images float before my eyes
Of fragrant nights of straw and of bonfires
And dancing till the next sunrise.

I can see the lights in the distance
Trembling in the dark cloak of night
Candles and lanterns are dancing, dancing
A waltz on All Souls Night.

Figures of cornstalks bend in the shadows
Held up tall as the flames leap high
The green knight holds the holly bush
To mark where the old year passes by.


Bonfires dot the rolling hillsides
Figures dance around and around
To drums that pulse out echoes of darkness
Moving to the pagan sound.

Standing on the bridge that crosses
The river that goes out to the sea
The wind is full of a thousand voices
They pass by the bridge and me.

-Loreena McKinnett


Today in my religion is a time to remember loved ones who have passed on. You can find a taste of what the ritual might be like in the story
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, although the coin portion is from Chinese New Year. Because in this household we borrow from any myth not nailed down.

It is the Pagan New Year. Like Janus in the Greco-Roman myths, it is a threshold--we can look backward and forward at the same time. The veil between this world and the spirit world is thin, which is why divination works so well, which is how we can make contact with our beloved dead.

Do I really believe that? I'm not sure. I figure if Buddhists can chant to Tara and still claim to be atheists, I can too. My church always includes an ancestor lodge (although the lodge blew away this past spring in a storm) where we are taken to a safe place to commune with the ancestors. I've never had any revelations about my forebears, and I've never felt anything weird during meditation. But it comforts me to talk with those I miss at least once a year. And if any religion isn't about comfort and joy, then it is missing the point.

Have to say I'm a little spooked this year. Mikey wasn't a bad guy, and he wasn't religious in the least, but he did have impeccable timing. No, it seems his sole goal in life was to scare the shit out of his sisters. This should be interesting. *Laugh*

So I will break out the pictures and set up the altar that I should have already assembled. A picture of Mikey, wine and cigarettes for my mother, a plant for my adoptive mother, one of Carl's many foreign dictionaries, and Djin's sandalwood fan. While maybe dead people don't speak, their belongings do. These artifacts hold memories of a life well lived.

So if an invisible hand pulls your hair (like my mother did as I was leaving to see John Edward) or if you get a sudden overwhelming image of a friend who passed on 20 years ago (Hi, Linda Lou!) don't be alarmed. They're just saying "hello", and reminding you they're still around; they still care.

Because if anything can survive the grave, it is love.

Blessed Samhain, everyone.
October 30, 2008 at 9:41am
October 30, 2008 at 9:41am
I was numb most of the week--not quite certain he's really gone. Still not, of course, but now I'm mad.

My family puts the "dis" in dysfunctional, no fun involved. They can't agree on anything, they can't even write an obituary without fighting. I'm mad at all of them for acting like children. Dad's the only one with any sense, but since he's going senile, he gets pushed to the side. That makes me extra mad--what kind of gratitude is that? None of them would be here if not for him. That's five kids who remain, eleven grandkids, and I've lost count of the greatgrandkids.

I'm mad at Dad too. He doesn't grieve like a normal person, he lashes out at everyone around him, which is making Dottie even dottier. And he's the one who taught us all to suck it up and to distrust the medical establishment.

Mostly, I'm mad at Mikey for not going to the doctor. A 48 year old man should know. And he did know, he was just too stubborn or macho or whatever to consult a physician. He was warned by friends and family alike. Love ya, bro, but still pissed. And not just because I'm the one left to glue the shards of this family back together, but because I never thanked you for having my back.

And I'm mad at myself. For not keeping in touch, for not visiting often, and for being just like them and not going to the doctor. Hypocrite much?

One thing death does do is make you slow down, ponder, and appreciate the "now". I've watched a lot of movies with Doodle and Eric this week. I've taken my time at dinner, been more patient with the little one, and given her extra kisses. One life. One love.

I wonder what she thinks of me now, and what she'll remember about me when I'm gone. And I'm determined to make sure it's "all good". At least until this madness has been damped down to glowing embers of rememberance. I'm sure I'll go back to taking people for granted, but for this week, this month, I'm holding on for dear life.

** Images For Use By Upgraded+ Only **
October 26, 2008 at 10:28am
October 26, 2008 at 10:28am
My brother died unexpectedly Friday afternoon. I'll be scarce this week as I deal with the arrangements. My father and sister are taking it really hard. We're waiting for the autoposy, but convinced it was a heart attack.

I regret not spending more time with Mikey; most of my memories are of childhood.

Hug you loved ones, friends.

October 22, 2008 at 10:09pm
October 22, 2008 at 10:09pm

I was cleaning out my computer today and found this:
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This item number is not valid.
#1487559 by Not Available.

I miss something else too, but not enough to risk my house. If I only lived in Cali... Think my herniated discs are enough to wrangle a script? *Laugh*
October 18, 2008 at 10:15am
October 18, 2008 at 10:15am
Some days I get the distinct impression there are little demons and angels flying around my head. They're fighting for the right to give me my next assignment, chapter, or sentence. I can feel a slight breeze as their little wings beat out in hummingbird overdrive.

I think the demented ones won on Thursday. Instead of finishing my port raids, I was overtaken by a scene, a chapter I'm calling "The Doors of Perception". Ain't it cool when something becomes a symbol without your conscious knowledge?

Tara's having a bad morning when she meets up with her aunt's nemesis--let's call him Damion for now. She's mesmerized by his charm--she's out of her element. The car door hits her shin, she pounds on the locked glass doors of the Smithsonian to get away from the loony protesters, she gets the incredible news of why they're outside as the elevator doors slide silently shut behind her. After working all day on a translation, she walks through the door connecting her lab to her professor's office only to find Damion yukking it up with her mentor.

I didn't notice all the doors until I got to page 8. I've walked through thousands of doorways and never thought anything of it. But the other project this month is the newsletter on symbolism, so of course I'm going to concentrate on that. My book is deliberately loaded with symbolism, so much, it seems, that it oozes out even when I don't expect it.

So now I'm stuck in the doorway/crossroads/turning point between science and friendship with two mugs of coffee in Tara's hand. She wants to throw them at Damion's head, but that would neither be professional nor get her the information she seeks. She doesn't know he's the one who mistranslated the line that riled up the fundamentalists.

I know the little buggers won't stop hanging over my shoulder until I finish the scene. I know they're only trying to help, but I'm getting creeped out over here, wondering if they're going to drag me to the netherworld and "show me around", you know, just to make sure it's authentic. So I'm off to sit in the sun and write as if my life depends on it.

Gosh, I love Halloween, when the veil between the living and dead stretches thin...

October 15, 2008 at 9:28am
October 15, 2008 at 9:28am
I stretched back and I hiccupped
And looked back on my busy day
Eleven hours in the Tin Pan
God, there's got to be another way

Who are you?

-The Who

So I was waiting for midnight on Moonday, and the Moon shone just right through a ring in the dense treetop, capturing me in her spell. We spoke, without words of course, but when the Moon talks, I listen.

She asked me to reflect on my choices in Halloween costumes. Why did I choose that outfit? Who am I? What does this tell me about my personality?

My Ghouls costume started because I so enjoyed writing the parody for Marlena, that I wanted to continue. So I thought of Weird Al Yankovich, and the rest is history. I had no idea how hard it would be, buy hey, I'm always up for a challenge.

But am I hiding behind a mask? I like to think I'm an open book, but of course no one really is. Everyone holds something back.

She also asked me what I was willing to sacrifice to make my life better. You can't get something for nothing, you know. The days Pagans and Mexicans honor the dead is also a time to think of death metaphorically. What do I need to bring out of hiding and confront? What scares me so bad I can't even look in the mirror? What traits and habits are no longer useful, weighing me down? What parts of me need to be sliced off, gently laid to rest, and mourned? Far too many to bore you with, that's for sure.

So before you put your costume away, take a minute to inspect it. Does it have tears or holes? Does it serve you in your quest to know yourself? Or has it far outlived its utility? Mend it if you can, but don't be afraid to trash that persona and start over.

Who you are all starts with who you want to be. Don't stop trying on new roles until you find one that fits just right.

I'm a mother, a wife, a loyal friend, a punny old witch, and a writer. They fit me well. I'm currently looking to find new clothes for the lover and the fighter, though. Wonder if Fredericks of Hollywood could help? *Laugh*

Who are you?

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