Mind Boggled

 Don’t know if you caught this story on the news last night – but it boggles the mind.  A quick look at some of this nurse’s tweets that preceded the news story – (also you can hear/watch the CNN interview via this Youtube video).

And using my new toy, I wrote this in reaction –

Categories *

Pluses and Minuses

 ~ “…as much use as a chocolate teapot.”  This delights me in so many ways.

~ Whenever I need a laugh, I watch this and whenever I need to express my displeasure I imitate the voice saying “No, No..I don’t want it”

I don’t bake anymore yet I am still compelled to cut out recipes that tickle my fancy and just might tickle my taste buds if I made them. Mmmm – Pie!

And things that irk me – 

~ People who describe themselves as empaths and how they “feel all the feels”. And the implied superiority. No, you are a pretentious little twit.

~ “You do you.” WTF does that mean? 

~ Ageism – I am sick to death at being spoken to as if I am 5 years old or suffering from dementia. I am old, I am not stupid.

~ Assumptions based on zero information or prejudiced views which leads to

~ People who get all their exercise from jumping to conclusions.

Categories *

Pinterest is a royal pain in my ass

 People use it to, I don’t know, store notes, reminders, things they think might be of interest at some time in the future…It’s a hoarders paradise online. 

But see, here’s the thing – people store great gooey gobs of “QUOTES” in their hoard. Fine, but when I go looking for a quote Google keeps referencing Pinterest locations and the people who hoard quotes there DO NOT PUT THE SOURCE.  Sometimes you don’t even see an attribution of any kind. If I’m searching for a quote I want the source. I’m looking for more information not just the words all regurgitated in a pretty poster format…Who said it, where was it said, in what context – I’m looking for everything!

The same thing happens with images – Google throws thousands of images at you and further searching finds that they are on Pinterest. With NO source or attribution. I don’t want someone else’s itty-bitty pin of the image, I want the damn original along with the attribution – I want to know who created the image. I am looking for information.

I wonder what would happen if I did a boolean search – would I get the real thing? 

I save things I see and read all the time – they are in folders on MY computer. Occasionally I forget to add where I got the quote from – never the author of the quote, that I put on every time. Which book of theirs, which poem. Or was it an essay or a lecture? Why did I forget to write that information down? 

And why the hell can’t Google find it for me instead of sending me to someone’s Pinterest hoard? 

Categories *

I'm grumpy as all hell today

 and one of the reasons I posted FB. And maybe now that I have I can clear that out of my mind. 

I have been feeling poorly for several days now, and NO, I don’t want any sympathy or good wishes, I know you mean well but I’m not a sympathy and good wishes type of person. 

I’m so exhausted that this morning I did something I have NEVER done before in my life – never! I did a load of laundry and instead of folding everything neatly and nicely in the laundry room on the nice big folding table, I just put everything, neatly and nicely and UNFOLDED into my laundry basket and trundled it back to the apartment. The laundry basket is now residing in my office awaiting the time I have enough energy to do the folding and putting away thing. 

Treatment for the medical conditions I have contradict each other. Blood thinner for one condition is in direct contradiction of internal bleeding. Because of both the blood thinner and bleeding ulcer I cannot take any pain medications of ANY kind or cold medicine. And right now I sure could use some ibuprofen. The medication for the ulcer also gives me agita and diarrhea – so it’s just one joy after another.

But – I’m still prone to counting my blessings here. And there are some to be had. I won’t enumerate them but I am thankful for them. 

Categories *

I found it!

 In yesterday’s post I mentioned a poem that blew me away but I couldn’t remember one line because there was no pattern or rhyme to it, nor could I remember the name of the poem or the poet. All I could remember was the sense of it…well, with the vague search criteria of ‘poem about throwing” I found it. 

Here you go:

The Whole Mess … Almost


I ran up six flights of stairs

to my small furnished room   

opened the window

and began throwing out

those things most important in life

First to go, Truth, squealing like a fink:

“Don’t! I’ll tell awful things about you!”

“Oh yeah? Well, I’ve nothing to hide … OUT!”

Then went God, glowering & whimpering in amazement:   

“It’s not my fault! I’m not the cause of it all!” “OUT!”   

Then Love, cooing bribes: “You’ll never know impotency!   

All the girls on Vogue covers, all yours!”

I pushed her fat ass out and screamed:

“You always end up a bummer!”

I picked up Faith Hope Charity

all three clinging together:

“Without us you’ll surely die!”

“With you I’m going nuts! Goodbye!”

Then Beauty … ah, Beauty—

As I led her to the window

I told her: “You I loved best in life

… but you’re a killer; Beauty kills!”   

Not really meaning to drop her

I immediately ran downstairs

getting there just in time to catch her   

“You saved me!” she cried

I put her down and told her: “Move on.”

Went back up those six flights

went to the money

there was no money to throw out.

The only thing left in the room was Death   

hiding beneath the kitchen sink:

“I’m not real!” It cried

“I’m just a rumor spread by life … ”   

Laughing I threw it out, kitchen sink and all   

and suddenly realized Humor

was all that was left—

All I could do with Humor was to say:   

“Out the window with the window!”

~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~     ~

I don’t know how much sense this makes to you but to me it is a mind blower. It rocked me back. It lit up my brain.  

Now if this poem makes no sense to you, that’s okay. Somewhere, sometime you read a poem, a paragraph, a sentence that lit up your brain. That challenged your thinking. That spoke to your heart. That made you think to yourself “Yes!”  That gave you clarity, comfort, made you feel understood, if only by one other person. 

Treasure those. Write them down because you just never know when you might need them. 

"Here hath been dawning

another blue day, Think wilt thou let it slip useless away? ” My morning mantra – Odd how this is so often the first thing that crosses my mind as I struggle up from sleep to consciousness. 

I get a daily email from Merriam-Webster Word of the Day and last week one of the words was rue.  My brain immediately responded – “With rue my heart is laden” – a line from a poem by A.E. Housman. 

And that got me to thinking about memory. I don’t think I have one line of poetry in my memory that hasn’t been there for at least 65 years – I don’t remember (Ha!) the last time a line of poetry has stuck in my head. Why is that? 

We lose short-term memory first, long-term memory is tenacious. That little poem you memorized in kindergarten is with you forever, the contents of your grocery list, not so much.

Then again, we have the rhyming thing. Rhymes are patterns and our brain LOVES patterns. Patterns are short cuts for our lazy brains – the blanks just fill themselves based on a learned pattern. So many memory hacks involve rhyming. 

Which brings me to the topic of poetry (yet again). 

Rhyming is a lost art when it comes to poetry these days. Perhaps that is why I have no new random bits of new poetry in my long-term memory poetry library. Writers of poetry these days, the lauded and published, seem to have a preference for free verse or prose poems – none of which are memorizable. I like my poetry with, at the very least meter – there must be music or, to my unprofessional mind, it is NOT poetry. Chopping thoughts into short lines does not make it poetry. 

Perhaps my prejudice only extends to ‘poems’ that don’t speak to me – on the one hand I very much like Charles Bukowski, I remember the sense and ideas of his poems but not a line of the poems themselves. On the other hand, I don’t care for the much lauded and awarded Mary Oliver at all, she bores me. and I find her a bit precious…(as in – insincere).

Making me quite crazy at the moment is trying to remember a particular poem that I once posted on the blog that blew me out of the water and now I can’t remember the name of the poem or the poet. I also can’t remember one single line but only the sense of it; the concept; the ideas. And no, there was not a rhyme in it.

I actually spent decades tracking a poem, I only remembered there was a line in it about blood running down the walls of Buckingham Palace. I could have sworn it had to be by one of the War Poets instead it was by William Blake, and I mis-remembered the line (the actual line was And the hapless Soldiers sigh/Runs in blood down Palace walls“).  I should have remembered that poem better because it did have an exact rhyme scheme and yet – I guess it was just the one thought/image that stuck with me. 

One of the more annoying rhyme schemes is aabb ccdd etc. What that means is each verse is 4 lines composed of 2 couplets (a couplet is 2 rhyming lines).  This rhyme scheme is to be taken in small doses. Actually it is not the easiest  to master if you want to make sense and not go stretching for a rhyme. I’ve seen amateur poets use ‘old’ words (like twas) to make their rhyme and it is just awkward and anachronistic.  This is also called ‘sing-song’ rhyme and it has its uses – especially when creating a mnemonic device. But even when a master poet uses this scheme it gets old really fast. 

There are so many ways to use rhyme and meter when writing a poem, some very complex and some not readily recognized (like internal rhyme, it’s there you might not even notice it except subliminally.)

So – I’ll go to my grave believing, nay, insisting, that to be a poem it must have rhythm and meter. And I’ll continue to mentally recite bits and pieces of poems from days long gone whilst trying to remember why I walked into a room.

I enjoy your enjoyment but personally

 I just don’t care. 

So here we are at the warm and fuzzy family traditions time of year. What I call the ‘faux family holidays’.  And once again, I have the dichotomous reaction  of understanding on an intellectual level but not on an emotional one. (Sometimes I understand on an emotional level but not on an intellectual one, depends on the issue.) 

I try to participate, albeit on a minimal level, such as the sending of Christmas cards, but I do just that little bit only so I will receive cards in return. I like receiving “stuff” in the mail and I do like all the pretty images and the family photographs. I also know that receiving such cards is a tit-for-tat exchange. If I don’t send, I don’t get. If I don’t reach out, then no one reaches out to me.

And that is MY fault.  I don’t initiate relationships. I like to think I am open and amenable but I don’t initiate. I’ll have to give some thought as to why not – fear of rejection? Deep seated feeling of unworthiness? Who knows – some sort of psychological/emotional disconnect/misconception.

I truly do not feel like I am missing anything by not having any attachment to Thanksgiving or Christmas. I know why it is important to all y’all but my intellect says “What a bunch of phoney made-up nonsense”.  

The older I get the less I care. I don’t recall ever being excited about Christmas and certainly Thanksgiving held no significance at all for me – even as a kid. Sure, sure, big dinner, turkey left in the kitchen because turkey was just an alien food-stuff in our Italian-American kitchen. 

I must admit tho that I did miss the whole Easter basket thing – don’t know why that typical American tradition made such a big impression on me. 

I was 7 when my brother was born and I made a point of providing him a lot of these holiday traditions that were not a part of MY life. So yes, by the time he was 2 years old or so, and he was becoming aware of things like Christmas stockings or Easter baskets I made sure he had them. I sent him an Easter basket until he was well into his 60’s. 

So maybe these holidays are only for the children? They weren’t a significant part of my childhood (except as they were always fraught with high drama and so carried no pleasant memories) but I made sure they were part of my brother’s. Perhaps the more pleasant memories I provided for him offset the unpleasantness provided by other family members.

I feel sorry for my husband – he used to love Christmas and the first few years we were married I tried to do the whole Christmas tree/decoration/happy stuff for him. His children were young so I suppose I did it for them as well. But once the children were no longer a consideration I kinda stopped doing the ‘thing’. 

As for Thanksgiving – Oy! I really am not fond of turkey or mashed potatoes or any of the foodstuffs associated therewith – but of course they are favorites of my husbands and up until last year I cooked that nonsense for him – I just ate the cranberry sauce because that’s all I like. Can you imagine, cooking all the stuff for just 2 people? And then only one of them eating it? Yeah, that is not going to happen anymore. 

Therefore Thanksgiving and Christmas are complete non-days – falling into the category of “Oh, wait – what day is it?” 

I’m even re-thinking the holiday card thing. I think that is off my to-do list because I simply don’t want to do it. I can’t find any inspiration. I understand after this hellish year people are looking for any reason to smile but I can’t find that smile within me. I just don’t know what to say to people. There are people on my ‘list’ who wouldn’t understand a ‘Hello’ card. Hell there are people on my list who don’t give a good sized god-damn whether I’m alive or dead but those folks are my husband’s relatives. 

My husband’s family think I ruined his life (we married when we were in our mid-40’s), little do they know that I am the only reason he is still alive with money in the bank. Fuck ’em. 

So, yeah – that’s what’s on my mind this morning. 

Categories *