Saturday, June 13, 2015

I Don't Say

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“Be silent and listen: have you recognized your madness and do you admit it? Have you noticed that all your foundations are completely mired in madness? Do you not want to recognize your madness and welcome it in a friendly manner? You wanted to accept everything. So accept madness too. Let the light of your madness shine, and it will suddenly dawn on you. Madness is not to be despised and not to be feared, but instead you should give it life."

In an effort to get to know my reader better, I have decided to have an Ask Me Anything. Of course, blogs aren’t live chats - except at the Home for the Nearly Dead down the street. So as the next best thing, I’ve decided to share some little known facts about Yours Truly. My friends call me Weeping. Here are some more fun facts about me.


·      I was not raised by feral wolves.
·      Mom was a lady wolf who ran away from an abusive father who was the fat clown in the circus.
·      TMZ libelously says Daddy was a somewhat feral disgraced playboy celebrity whose downfall was an unsubstantiated accusation that he killed a hooker and who, while he never supported his children by selling meth, did drink himself to death under a designated historical monument/highway bypass built by the WPA.
·      I never had a brother who disappeared like Richie’s older brother on Happy Days.
·      My Permanent Record says I have “a bad attitude” and that I “do no apply myself”.
·      While I was not an early fan of applied cultural anthropology, I have come to embrace it.
·      I once lanced a boil on a close friend.
·      I suffer from the first documented case of Pre-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder that brings on panic attacks when contemplating the future while high or when trying to get through a supermarket lane between the stupid old people who must track me with an implanted GPS because they’re always there when I shop. What, do they hold a meeting every morning and decide how to piss me off today?
·      I never had electroshock therapy unless you count the unfortunate incident involving a sonic toothbrush and the third glass of vodka. That may not be as bad as it sounds. I may have mispronounced it.
·      The upbeat thing about being schizophrenic is that one of me is usually in a good mood.
·      I would NEVER wear a monocle or a top hat in public. I did however wear a monkey butler cap that summer Mom had a rocky affair with the circus monkey.
·      I feckin’ wields my rapier wit to defend my friends and defeat my foes and to sometimes ring a doorbell and then run away. It’s getting dull.
·      I know enough about what’s wrong with kids these days that I could edit an encyclopedia.
·      I have a rare form of hearing impairment. Not conductive or sensory-neural. It's Pink Floyd.

This is the really the important thing to know about Weeping. I am in the Witness Protection Program and thus blog in the pissed-off secret identity of a mild mannered superhero, so some of the details above may have been changed to protect the innocent until proven guilty.

Funny story about why I'm in Witness Protection.

I spent my professional career as an accountant (mid-management bureaucrat) who went to the coolest lunch trucks in the hip part of uptown and wore expensive scarves with my white shirt from Ross. I left my first husband for Shawn (sic) who still had a full head of hair. This understandably led to drinking.  I am not a wino. I’m more of a blended whiskey.

Anyway. One day I “suddenly picked up a paper knife and carved my way out through Cost Accounting and into forensic history” (Terry Pratchett).  I blew the whistle on my Big 5 Accounting Firm and got into the Witness Protection Program. So you could say I did the crime but I did not do the time.

Weeping Sore is A Winner.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Remember

Have you forgotten yet?...
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget.
 - Siegfried Sassoon, Aftermath

       
      It’s hard to be a kid. You could be bullied in school, or terrified by stranger danger.

It’s hard to be an adolescent. You could be socially awkward, or have acne.

It’s hard to be a young adult. You could be undereducated, or overeducated.

It’s hard to be married. You could make a bad decision, or maybe not.

It’s hard to have kids. You could be terrified by stranger danger.

It’s hard to grow old. You could fucking die alone.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Paraphrase of the Month

"Son, we are about to break the surly bonds of earth and punch the face of God."
- Homer Simpson

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Discover your Inner Individual

“Our individuality is all, all, that we have. There are those who barter it for security, those who repress it for what they believe is the betterment of the whole society, but blessed in the twinkle of the morning star is the one who nurtures it and rides it in, in grace and love and wit, from peculiar station to peculiar station along life's bittersweet route.”

I have recently been discussing gender inequality with an interesting intergenerational and inter gender group of people. The discussion began with an article about how men get away with interrupting women all the time. My contribution to the discussion was that professional women must mentor younger women like the Old Boys do.

Whatever alleged or objective facts you’d like to insist on or to vehemently deny on this topic, we didn’t get around to the issue of whether we should stop seeing what categorizes us and sorts us into what tribes and then fighting about it. Maybe we should start seeing  - and being - individuals.

Unlike the little lady pictured in this metaphor, I now have the luxury of being myself – of being who I want to be. I no longer really give a crap what anybody thinks of me. I don’t have a boss to impress, kingdoms to conquer, a daycare budget. I don’t have a spouse or significant other whose interests I consider and whose needs and desires impose responsibilities on me.

I am liking being an individual these days. I’m also recognizing fellow riders who are nice individuals to know. Gotta say, I’m at a peculiarly good station just now. If anybody is looking for a mentor in how to be an individual, I’m playing at the Learning Annex all week.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Tears of a Hobo

“I want the newspapers I read to smell like the violins left in pawnshops by weeping hobos on Christmas Eve.”
 - Tom Robbins

Sometimes, it feels like my cat has me on suicide watch. Those days she will not leave me alone from late afternoon until breakfast. Then I remember I’m not suicidal. I don’t understand why she follows me from room to room by running ahead of me and stopping in my path so I’ll pick her up and carry her with me. Why is she doing this?

Then I found this Tom Robbins quote, and it all made sense about how I feel - and about what my cat is doing. The above quote actually describes the worst I’ve been feeling – being angry at strangers for no reason. (Word wants to change the ‘angry at’ to ‘angry with’. But my anger is pointed at anything like a laser ray gun and has nothing to do with the targets). 

Sometimes I feel like the kind of over-the-top drama queen I imagine speaking in Robbins’ quote, exquisitely refining the details of my infinitely sour black hole of sentimental bitterness and trying to suck everyone in. I feel like the kind of person who says nobody ever comes to my parties all my friends are dead -  and my personal favorite I don’t like to complain but... 

So why does my cat stick with me? Well, first of all, if I were really the kind of person who is pleased about weeping hobos on Christmas Eve - like I am in that picture of me above - even my self-absorbed cat could smell that oddly sexy ennui. And who would want to be around that tainted vengeful soulless person who dreams of kicking another guy when he’s is as far down as they can imagine. The hobo in the pawnshop is so far below me he’s invisible.    

My first theory is based on therapy cat behavior. My cat is reminding me I’m ok, and that the anger part of my grief is burning itself out. The other day, I asked my doctor to please not put the term “obese” on my permanent medical record, and couldn’t we use “gravitas” instead. First time in ten years the bastard laughed when he said no and he says no ALL the time. Hearing laughter feels good. Sharing it feels better. I’ve missed that and realize that my cat may be trying to bring some comfort and joy to balance out the anger. She is grounding out all the sparks.

Here’s another more olfactorily-inclined theory. I’m on very special newspaper smell watch. Seriously, doesn’t that quote describe EXACTLY how complex and wonderful newspapers would smell if they smelled like that? It would be the deeply aged musk of knowledge earned in over a long life rich in painful detail, seasoned with the preserving spice of growth and resilience; of bending but not breaking. That hobo probably dried his tears and had a merry Christmas. I’d be even more inclined to read the newspapers that smelled like those in my grandfather’s basement where they were piled on shelves built against the stone wall foundation which was infused with generations of wet tree roots percolating through the stone. His youngest daughter, my mother’s baby sister, was a school teacher and stored her school workbooks there too. Accordingly, I’ve come to associate that ghost of that old basement smell with wisdom. To me, wisdom smells like barrel aged root beer and old newspapers in my grandfathers house in Northeast Washington DC  - which is built on a swamp.

In either case, my cat knows I’m not an irredeemably misanthropic old victim of suicidal senile agitation. After all, my cat has a better sense of smell than I do, and doesn’t have the word violin in her vocabulary. My cat may just like the way I smell.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Confessions of a Terrible Gardener: I'm Beetist


“The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.

Slavic peoples get their physical characteristics from potatoes, their smoldering inquietude from radishes, their seriousness from beets.

The beet is the melancholy vegetable, the one most willing to suffer. You can't squeeze blood out of a turnip...

The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is what happens when the cherry finishes with the carrot. The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.

The beet was Rasputin's favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes.” 


So that’s why I didn’t take any of the lovely red beets we harvested from the last of the cool season veggies yesterday. I took perfectly respectable beet greens from the harvest. Fortunately, we got over 3 lbs of beets, plus another 2 lbs of greens. Because that almost-ripe strawberry didn’t go far.  

And plus beets taste like dirt.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Silence

"There was just so much detail in a person's life and you did well to get rid of the half of it. If you were any good you protected yourself by holding on to this and forgetting that. And even the bits you keep are best kept in silence."
 - Andrew O'Hagan, The Illuminations

There is a fine line between confiding and over-sharing.

There is a goldfinch on the top branch of a young pine tree outside my window. He's so bright yellow in the sunlight that as the the branch swayed in the light breeze he caught my eye like a blinking yellow traffic signal.

Then he flew away.