Deep down – still there.

My desktop computer is approximately 7 years old, perhaps 8 and it is getting a little temperamental. It’s a 21.5 inch iMac and I’m not so sure I want to get another desktop tho I certainly appreciate the screen size.  I have an iPad that’s about 3-4 years old and it is slowing down to a crawl and I definitely don’t want to get another one of those. I am so over iPads.  I suppose I could have anything I want, there is money in the bank but how much do I really want to spend on this mishegoss?

I went to the dentist yesterday for what I thought was my ‘final’ fitting but the doctor is starting to get really picky, especially because of all the problems he has had with the lab. My next appointment is in approximately a week and half, and THAT should be my final fitting with me finally getting teeth approximately a week and half after that – so mid-February I should finally have teeth. The last time I had teeth in my mouth was May 18, 2017 – so nine months without teeth and my bank account is now $39,000 lighter.

I know that seems like a lot of money, but when you take into account ALL the dental work that has been done, and all the visits I made for work that I was not charged for, and when you see the gorgeous teeth I am going to have – well, it’s really not so much.

On the other hand – Please people – TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH.

The only reason we can afford these things is because my husband is still working and I have my social security. We ARE NOT rich by any means but we can pay our bills without robbing Peter to pay Paul.  For now.

Of course we have to save against the day when my husband is no longer working. Our income will take a large hit when that happens and there will be very little for extras and indulgences.  Part of me says – “Get the big ticket items out of the way now” and the other part of me says “Yes, but you could do without and bank that money”.

I tend to think I don’t deserve to be spending any money at all – and that has always been a big personal problem. I don’t think I deserve to have anything beyond the barest essentials. Doesn’t matter how hard I have worked or the sacrifices I have made. I am unworthy and undeserving.

That is just so f**king sad.  And there is nothing I can say to myself, or that anyone can say to me that will change how I feel. That feeling is now hard-wired into my brain. Because someone, a long time ago, beat that into me, physically and verbally.

No matter how many hours a person spends on the psychiatrist’s couch; no matter how much personal effort goes into ‘getting over it’, ‘putting it in the past’ – a person doesn’t and can’t.  Not really; it only seems that way sometimes to people on the outside.

Inside, we are still there.

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I know it when I read it…

I have, in the past, done a run down of the books I have, and haven’t read. The books that get rejected, often after less than one chapter, are deemed unreadable because of bad writing, and that includes bad editing. Once I come across grammar, spelling and punctuation errors, over and over, in the space of 20 or so pages, I just shut the book. I know I should overlook these and just immerse myself in the story but I can’t.

So often in the recent past some of the best writing I’ve come across has been in newspapers. Often the subject matter is of no great import, such as lifestyle articles. The Washington Post has a fashion editor, Robin Givhan, whose way with words and a story, pulled me in and kept me interested, to the point where I thought “Don’t really care about fashion but this is really well written.”

So perhaps, good writing is what draws you in and keeps you there regardless of how interested you are in the topic or the story.

This morning as I was separating out the sections of the newspaper, an article on the front of the sports section caught my eye. I am not a regular reader of the sports section. It usually gets put immediately in the recycle pile.

But this morning I read, was drawn in by the subject matter, yes, but the writing kept me reading. I can’t tell you specifically what about the writing was good, only that it kept me reading. The article elicited, I want to say outrage, thought better of it, tried for another word/description but find outrage works, which I am sure was the writer’s intent, at least I hope so. 

I don’t know whether you have been following this story in the news. You may have become inured to the subject matter, institutional sexual abuse, #MeToo et al., but after reading this article this morning, my first reaction was anger, and my second reaction was “good writing”

The article can be found here. There are numerous other articles in today’s paper on the subject, I haven’t read them yet, and may not. This one may be all I need.

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Easy for you, Difficult for me

Everyone is good at something. No one is good at everything. Yet we are always quick to say “Oh it’s easy!” For you maybe, not necessarily for me.

I used to be very quick to say that, never thinking that the person I was saying it to might be hearing “If you can’t do it you’re stupid”.  Of course I didn’t mean that.

What we say is not always what is heard. The exact words might be but not the exact meaning. Our meaning gets translated into their meaning.  We don’t just process words in a word-definitive, intellectual way but also in an emotional way.

I think we all know that, somewhere in our brain, but to have that awareness front and center at all times would make conversations slow and cumbersome. Or even bring them to a grinding halt.

I don’t even know where I am going with this. But I can tell you what prompted it. Friday is a laundry day and as I was happily (yes, I said happily) folding sheets in the laundry room I was thinking “I don’t know why people have a problem folding fitted sheets into a nice tidy square” and then I thought “Because what’s easy for me, isn’t necessarily going to easy for someone else.”

Also –

You don’t have to try something just because someone says you should, and makes you feel bad about yourself because you choose to not even try.

If it interests you, try it – might turn out well, then again it might not. You never know.

If it doesn’t interest you, then blow it off.  Really.  And don’t let anyone make you feel less because of it.

There are actually things I can do fairly well and yet they interest me not at all.  And vice versa.

And where have we heard all this before, pretty basic stuff.  And no, unfortunately it does not apply to required school courses.

And no, I will never ever try sushi/sashimi; like the guy from Texas said “Back home we call that bait”.

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Take a moment and think about an image, a concept that, in one form or another, has been a constant in your life.

Mine is wings. Winged things have always, ever since I can remember being aware of such things, been my ‘image’.

The symbolism of wings is rather straightforward – it’s basic meaning is freedom. It certainly has religious meanings and I often see classical angel wings, not attached to any type of anthropomorphic figure, flit across my inner eye.

I’ve been fascinated with being able to fly since I was a child. I used to sit in the window of our attic, with my feet dangling, thinking “If I jump will I fall or fly?” Whenever I am up high I have a very strong urge to jump, because somehow, somewhere in my mind I think I will fly. And that I have discovered is a very common thought pattern. My father confessed to me that he shared that compulsion. A friend once confessed the same – he had been to Niagara Falls on vacation, and when he looked out over the falls that compulsion to jump, with the underlying thought that he would fly, not fall, overcame him.

Images of butterflies were a large part of my consciousness when I was in my 20’s. I had clothes with butterfly patterns, I had butterfly jewelry, think crazy cat lady with cat images on every thing she owns and wears, then substitute butterflies for cats – and that was me.

Butterflies symbolize change, transformation, transition and, freedom.

And then there are birds. They have taken up a lot of space in my subconscious and conscious mind. They took over from the butterflies somewhere along the line.

I watch birds fly and I feel like I am there with them; that I am them. I have a particular affinity with crows. Now the symbolism of crows is interesting and shares some of the meaning of butterflies.

While I was doing the research for this post I came across a site about spirit animals, the site has a quiz to help you find your spirit animal. I took the quiz and oddly enough my spirit animal was an owl, which also shares some of symbolic attributes of butterflies and crows – transition, change, wisdom, intuitiveness.

The pattern of my “images’ seems very consistent – in format and meaning. If I were a deep thinker I could/would delve more into the meaning of all this and how it relates to my actual life.

But I am not a deep thinker.  I am a deep feeler tho. I feel more than I think. I trust my feelings more than my intellect. I live in and of my feelings more than my intellect.

That said, I snort a bit at people who spout ooga-booga philosophies, like spirit animals, which is a concept that goes far back in the history of humans. Yet here I am, thinking “Yes, yes – that makes sense.”  Emotional sense, yes; intellectual sense, no.

And that is a dichotomy I have struggled with all my life.  What I feel to be true, what I believe in my gut, as opposed to what my intellect says is, shall we say, fanciful.

So what is it that you feel more strongly than you think?

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Say wha?

It was a kinda slip-slidey here on Tuesday, and in an article in Wednesday’s Washington Post we get this commentary:

At Sibley Memorial Hospital in Northwest Washington, officials said they had seen a “significant increase” in the number of people coming into the emergency room overnight and into the morning with slip-and-fall injuries.
“Breaks, fractures, soft-tissue injuries, you name it,” said hospital spokesman Gary Stephenson. “The law of physics is such that there is little you can do when you hit ice. It’s in­cred­ibly slippery.” (emphasis added)

The next thing you know this guy will be telling us that water is wet!

In the past I have wondered why ‘shit’ is probably the only word that still gets bleeped. Or replaced by the word “expletive” or is written out with asterisks as substitutes for letters. And yet, Friday morning the Washington Post (sorry if there are constant references to WaPo but it is my local newspaper.) printed out the word quoting he who shall not be named.

Also surprising was the suggestion that someone, or even a lot of someones, from Norway would want to immigrate to the United States. Even with the most cursory knowledge of Norway, that is a question that no one would ask. 

Actually I think the more interesting question would be “Why aren’t more Americans emigrating to Norway?” 

And the way this country is going, will Americans soon be applying for admission to other countries under ‘refugee status’. 
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It's not you, it's my Uncle

I’m a dark haired, dark eyed, dark skinned Southern Italian (-American). Sure, we a have few blue-eyed redheads in the family, seems there is a deep strain of such hued folks in Sicily, but we are mainly, and most definitely, stereotypically Mediterranean in appearance

When we lived in the Bronx it was pretty much a mixed bag of nationalities, accents and colors. Where we lived in Queens, not so much. Not that Queens wasn’t multi-ethnic, it was, just not my neighborhood, so much.

And then there was television, magazines, advertising – pretty much all Anglo, and blond haired/blue eyed.  I grew up thinking Anglo’s were exotic.  Because they didn’t look like me or my family.

When I started dating I gravitated to the All-American Anglo looking guys. They were different! They were what was desirable in this country (or so it seemed.) Just as my dark good looks were considered exotic and desirable to a lot of the Anglos.

Once I did go out with an Italian guy, and while we had a good time we decided that a romance wasn’t in the cards because, as he said, “I really like you but you look too much like my sister!”

I’m sure I laughed at that because I distinctly remember saying to an Italian-American fellow “I can’t go out with you, you look just like my Uncle Al.”

I wonder if that happens much within other nationalities/ethnic groups? It must, surely. If you stick with your own kind, it stands to reason that someone is going to look like someone else. And that someone else just happens to be a family member

And let’s face it, the thought of rolling over in bed in the morning and coming face to face with your Uncle…Eh – I don’t think so.

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A most vivid sweet memory

triggered by a conversation on FB…

Time: Fall of 1961,  Sunday afternoon. A kinder gentler time. When kids were allowed all the freedom in the world to wander their neighborhoods at all times of the day and night but weren’t allowed to go into Manhattan (the city) alone. As part of a large group, yes, but only if there were older kids or an adult.

Players: My church youth group. Perhaps 16 of us, ranging in age from 13 to 18.

Occasion: Going to see ‘West Side Story’ at the Rivoli Theater in mid-town Manhattan.

We must have gotten out of the theatre in late afternoon. Late afternoon, in the Fall, in NYC – a magical time on any occasion.

We piled out of the theatre, hopped up, excited, totally jazzed. As we made our way down the street, without forethought or planning, we began to dance, snapping our fingers and singing – “When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way, From your first cigarette to your last dying day

We jostled around and reformed to sing – “Gee Officer Krupke, what are we to do? Gee, Officer Krupke, Krup You!”

We settled, and walked and then someone started to sing – “Could be, Who knows? There’s something due any day I will know right away Soon as it shows” 15 sweet, beautiful teenage voices joined in. One of the boys ran ahead, leapt onto a light pole, ala Gene Kelly in ‘Singing in the Rain”, one arm wrapped around the pole, the other flung up and out …and we sang – “It may come cannon-ballin’ down from the sky, Gleam in its eye, Bright as a rose. Who knows?

We didn’t know it was magical then, we were just young and happy.

But today? Writing this?  I feel the magic. I see it all in my mind’s eye. I live it again. And these tears in my eyes?  Just a little joy, remembered.

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