Thursday, March 31, 2005

03/30/05 - Thursday

((Driving somewhere inconsequential with a thousand other things clamouring for my attention))
"Mom... do you know where the shelter is?"
"What shelter?"
"What shelter?"
(we go back and forth like this for a minute or two til she finally gets frustrated & gives an actual description)
"The one where you go to if there's a lot of traffic & a lot of water!"
(Wondering where this came from)
"Oh, you mean the Emergency Shelter? Where you go if there's a big storm?"
" you know where it is?"
"Uhh.... I don't think there is one in Belleville, hon. (remembering frantic calls to neighbors at an obscene time of night when B was itty bitty) There's one in Freeburg, so if we were w/ J&S, we could go there then, but most people go to their basement." (mental note to check with town officials again)
"Do you know where it is?" (persistent, isn't she?)
"Why do you ask?"
"Well... Hank & Bobby Hill did that. The red phone was ringing and he answered it and the guy told him what to do & what not to do and there was big, BIG water... umm (stumped for word & searching for description).. like the sea!"
((Oh, brother... the TV monster hits again.))
"That's a "flood" honey. when there's big big water like the sea, that's called a flood."
"Oh! (great relief in voice over finding the right word) Well. Hank & Bobby Hill & there were lots of traffic and a .. a.. FLOOD... blah blah blah...."

Well... at least it's USEFUL information!

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

My friends Tammy & Matt, out @ The Pub 03 26 2005

Me - Out with friends at The Pub 03 26 2005

03/28/05 - Monday

YeeeaaaahhH!!! My friend is home my friend is home my friend is ho ho ho home from Haawwaaaaiiiiii.... happy days :-) I've been chomping at the bit since I started the drive home Sunday afternoon to see howwasthetriptellmeallaboutitdidyouseeanythingneat doanythingfunmeetcoolpeopletellmetellmetellmegodImissedyou Hi! But I have most graciously restrained myself from calling because I know there's a time differential involved, and family to greet and collect, and unpacking to do, and that final sigh of regret to experience and savour as the real world draws nigh again. But we MISSED you! Both of you! (Who cares that we'd have only seen you once in the interim anyway... I, at least, felt the void out there in the ether of possibility.) Big long warm hugs & welcome home, friends!

Monday, March 28, 2005

03/28/05 -- "Driving Late at Night... Far Away" (Mix)

I spent the weekend with this great mix by Jim aka "Ninodamindboggler" (see track list below) Oh, all right... I wasn't driving late at night -- I was driving smack dab in the middle of the day, but I and my mind were certainly far away, and the drive was long enough to devour this mix and its companion track over more than once.

Taking a long drive is a great way to get some thinking done. (Or some talking, but this drive I did sans other.) You can think about everything, nothing, and interesting permutations inbetween. But I gotta tell you... something happened when I hit track 10. Every time I hit track 10. The first nine tracks let your mind wander wherever it might want to go. Fragments of thought are fine. Stop & mull over a concept, dwell in a memory or three... all those things are supported and carried along on the wave of sound. Listening to this mix, I can certainly put myself mentally into some anonymous vehicle eating up the miles between hither & yon, the night sky yawning endless above you and the road stretching endless before you -- miles of empty pavement cooling slowly from the heat of the day into the comfort of the night....

((track 10 - the flirt)) ... and then, no matter what nameless wandering your mental steps may have done, where they may have taken you.... this playfully insistent little beat lilts across your wandering and brings you full circle back to be right where you are. Your head cocks to one side & one eyebrow reaches for the sky as a smile plays with the corners of your mouth. Teasing little ideas pop enticingly into your head, and you go from miles away to being focused on the here & now. Maybe you have someone sleeping in the seat next to you... maybe they're driving... maybe you even had one of those magic encounters at a late night diner or a roadhouse bar along the way & on the spur of the moment brought them with you... but while for miles you've been miles away, now you've got ideas. Playful ideas. An impish grin does a little jig over your soul and you begin a lilting little dance of attraction with them as the miles speed away beneath the wheels of your car. Flirting.. teasing... playing... then track 11 comes along, and the game is truly afoot.

((track 11 - the dance)) The impish flirt segues into a more intimate dance. Still a game, still there's a bit of flirt to it, but the vibe has become a more serious one. From a quirky "hey, you over there... you're kinda cute", it's become a dance of "hey, ya wanna?" Picture/feel the intensity of two flamenco dancers, eyes locked intensely on one another... intricate steps of body and soul, passion building...

((track 12 -- engagement)) Yeah, ya wanna. Maybe by now you've pulled the car over into some private curve of trees, moonlight bathing the remote location... maybe neither of you notice the summer breeze or the smell of asphalt, but the beat provides a rhythm, and perhaps you do notice - albeit briefly - that the hood of the car is warm under your naked skin...

((track 13 -- denouement)) I can't quite decide whether this is the work of a cunning linguist, or whether it is simply that indefinable place your mind races to... retreats to... when sensation goes beyond words, when time itself slows, and material things around you become at once more poignant, more intimate, and yet utterly superflous -- an altered, slow mental and physical scream of passion...

((track 14 -- afterglow)) Reality. Two people apart, a little lazy, sweetly flushed. Now you do notice the warm summer's breath as it cools the sweat on your skin. You hear the engine clicking as it too cools under you. Comradarie... small touches, you help one another dress. Perhaps you smile at the moon as you take one last look around to lock the memory in your head. One more slow kiss with Luna's blessing. Get back in the car, start it up, and hit the road again. Holding hands now, silent but reconnected, relaxed... once again the road rolls away under rubber, mile after mile....

((track 15 -- back to the world)) I don't know.. maybe you dropped off your passenger? Say your goodbyes... maybe your "til later"s, but shake off the enoui. You're sharper, keener. Refreshed. Move on.

1. The Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You
2. Depeche Mode - Policy of Truth
3. Sinead O'Conner - Jerusalem
4. South - Paint the Silence
5. Rolling Stones - Time Waits For No One
6. Talk Talk - Inheritance
7. Clan of Xymox - Medusa
8. Supremes - Reflections
9. Skylab - Seashell
10. Paul Simon - Can't Run But
11. Los Lobos - Kiko and the Lavender Moon
12. Amon Tobin - Down & To the Left
13. Radiohead - Like Spinning Plates
14. Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head
15. Interpol - Untitled
16. Q. Lazzarus - Goodbye Horses
17. Les Paul & Mary Ford - How High the Moon

Saturday, March 26, 2005

03/25/05 Saturday

A COMMENT!!! Just somebody bitching that I haven't written anything recent... but STILL. Hey... been busy... been not-inspired... been... um... lazy! Still am for that matter. I blame it solely on some new music I indulged myself in a couple of weeks ago -- I bought 5 or 6 new CD's, and absolutely ADORE three of them -- Van Morrison's Tupelo Honey has been lulling me into a warm summer day sort of lazy bliss whenever I'm in the car (other STL drivers would thank them if they knew)... Billy Joel's classical piano Fantasies & Delusions is providing a soothing vamp to everything I do around the house... and yesterday, Mezzanine's Massive Attack FINALLY arrived in the mail to jazz the lazy bliss into something else -- not quite sure what yet, but it's got a distinctly sexual undertone. I like it.

And THAT (to my lone commenter of the week) is all the music I've been enjoying. I'm still awaiting my hard-earned spoils of bloggdom with baited breath. Sue the USPS, hop a plane, or get your butt to the post office, mister! Come on, pleeeaaasse? Nobody wants a woman whose breath smells like worms! ("baited breath".. get it? Ha!)

Getting ready to take B to go visit the P's for Easter. Last night brought on a tearing-out-of-the-hair trip to the mall (& etc) for the prerequisite Easter Dress(es). Can't possibly take a little girl to visit her grandparents on Easter without an Easter Dress. And white gloves. Of course, once we got home, I found that the white shoes in her drawer don't fit any more, so back out to find shoes that will work with the dress, and I forgot we hadn't had supper so couldn't figure out why she was whining & tantruming all the way. I tried on a few dresses myself, and the combination of her being cranky and having to look at multiple disasters of me in dressing room mirrors... The whole experience was worse than braving the blue light special muggers at Christmas, let me tell you!

Now we're in the throes of packing. You'd never know how much angst goes into packing for a two day trip. It's easier to pack for a week or two -- people don't roll their eyes at you for showing up with three suitcases, a suit bag, a bag of toys, and a pillow when you're going for a week or two. But geez.... how to make up your mind re: what you MIGHT end up needing for two days?!?! We've got an Easter egg hunt this afternoon... at which someone is surely going to be taking cute little Easter egg hunt pictures... but it's COLD outside! Have you ever noticed that 98% of cute little easter dresses are SLEEVLESS? Even the little white sweaters that are supposed to be around to help keep 'em warm are short-sleeved this time of year. Supper with the parental P's tonight, to include some step-relatives we never see (with kids), which will, of course, bring on more picture taking. Since these kids never get together, a LOT of picture taking. After supper & some games, I'm sure I'll pop over to see a few friends from the ol' home town, which quite often leads to a few beers & etc out at one or both of the two decent bars available. It being a holiday weekend, there may even be something going on, since people come home for holidays. I can't possibly wear "church & pictures" sorts of clothes to go to the bars... gotta pack some fun clothes for that. Tomorrow of course, we have more Easter egg hunting in the morning, and then we'll go with the maternal side to hear their cantata at church, THEN out with them for Easter Sunday Brunch... and more pictures. (How'd you guess?) There's outfit #3...or 4.. (I'm losing count), and I'd better pack one extra each of "church" & "fun", 'cause if I don't, someone's gonna spill gravy all over the one I was counting on being able to wear a second time.

Gotta go -- the shower's running out of hot water, & B just told me she was "packing her toothbrush & stuff". Hmm... I'd better make sure I check to see what the "stuff" is. The cat probably doesn't want to go home for Easter.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

3/16/05 Wednesday -- Love

"The Notebook"... and a thousand other stories just like it. Live it, dammit. Find a way to love that much.

03/15/05 Tuesday night -- Friends & Self

Ah, Amy... my dear, sweet, loving, pixie-like friend with the vivid imagination and incredible brain. She has a heart big enough to encompass everyone she's ever met, a heart tender and easily damaged, not so easily healed... a soul willing to take on the cares of everyone she cares about. I love you for that -- from what I can tell, we all do.


I am in many ways an analytical, introspective soul. It is part and parcel of my nature to dig into the nooks & crannies of my psyche, pull out what I find there (even when it comes kicking & screaming all the way), look closely at it, turn it over and over... analyze it... relate it to what I know & hypothesize about what I do not. I recognize fully that there will be things in there that 'aint'sa pretty', but also that some of them belong there. I recognize that as a human being I have had, have, will have many failings to balance out all the wonderful things that are there... and many many wonderful things to balance out all the 'uggies'. While now & then I find something that I think really needs some tweaking (and I'll spare you all the list!), overall, I don't have much of a problem with the balance that is me. Mostly, I rather like it!

I apologize profusely that I worried you... you who care so deeply and are so quick to try to mend... often what I write about tends to be the things that sound sad & unhappy simply because when I'm with my friends (like you), that's when all the happy stuff gets mulled over. Of all the things that rumble through my brain, a balance has to come out somewhere... and I'd really rather save the happy stuff for when I'm with you! The happy stuff gets LIVED more than written... the notsohappy gets written more than lived. Writing stuff out is just another way to muddle through my thoughts, put them in some sort of order... get them OUT of my head where they could fester & put them somewhere far more healthy.... and yeah, maybe even share them from time to time. It's catharsis. It's not a way to hide ... these are not deep dark secrets ( mostly!), they're just things that.. um.. belong somewhere safe.

Thank you for calling me... thank you for caring about me... thank you for always rushing to be sure that all is well... thank you for helping me be a better me... thank you for all the examples you set whether you know it or not... thank you for not being perfect... thank you for talking to me, sharing your life with me, sharing your fears and your joys. Thank you for loving me... thank you for simply existing & for just being you. I love you :-)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

03/15/05 Tuesday

This hasn't been my week for computers. Already this week I've spent an hour+ on the phone w/ my service provider, who kindly backpeddaled after first telling me to call the router people & ended up walking me through a complete disconnect, reconnect & reboot of every piece of equipment I own (in the correct order).. God Bless him! I spent a couple of hours last night trying to wiggle my way through some formatting changes on my Blog.. got links to work. YEAH! Got links to look better & stop hurting my eyes. YEAH! Got links to appear at the top of the sidebar instead of the bottom. YEAH! Can't get a pic to load right. Crap. Too much to hope for for one day.. shoulda stopped while I was ahead! Significant sense of accomplishment for me on those bits, tho -- all of you who know how to code, bite me. I'm a neophyte, don't know a damn thing, and figured 85% of it out on my friggin' own. (Big fat thank yous to the one person who did take time out to help!)

Today it's my work laptop that isn't connecting... and the disconnect, reconnect & reboot routine didn't work its magic, either. I started swapping cables around to see if it's the cable, the router, the modem, or the computer... and since everything works fine on my own PC, my guess is that it's the laptop. So I call our HELP desk. Once they hear what the error message is, my 'helper' promptly tells me they can't do anything with a VPN & transfers me to another dept before I can finish telling them I have no Inet connection at all. (Ya gotta have an Inet connection before the VPN will work in the first place.) That "other dept" turns out to be in FL, and the schmo there was unbelievably snotty, obviously bored with his job & thought I was an idiot before he ever heard the sound of my voice. Still thinks so after hearing the entire schpiel & says I gotta have an Inet connection first. Loooooong waiting silence on both sides. Don't they have time standards? Ok... Very very nicely, I ask him to please tell me what to do next... he says call my internet service provider. I explain to him that it really shouldn't be the cable company, since I have full & functional connectivity on my personal PC sitting right here. I explain again that I've swapped all the cables back & forth, everything works fine on mine, just not on the laptop. Snothead tells me again that I should call the internet service provider. Or maybe our Helpdesk. I guess he wasn't aware it was our helpdesk that transferred me to him in the first place? I asked where he was, & he said "Florida". Figures. Our own great IT guys who drop everything to help us, say "hi", & smile at us in the hallways are getting outsourced one by one & in their place I get some dick from FL who obviously neither appreciates nor enjoys the job he's got. He wanted to know WHY it "figures", but I could hear the eager snide-ity in his voice, figured we'd've ended up saying some things I'd rather not have recorded, so I thanked him for his time & hung up. Called the Helpdesk back, and after running through every step I've already taken... TWICE... Clueless guy (nice, but maybe multitasking one too many things) asks me if I've tried changing the cables around. Again I run through it. Please, Mr. Clueless guy, just put a ticket out there for me & I'll draaag myself all the way into STL so our nice friendly happy guys there can show me what idiot thing I've done wrong now. Got a ticket #, putting on my shoes.... Screw it. I just know there's something simple I can try here before going all the way in there & wasting the rest of the day. I'm calling Brad. Shoulda done that in the first place.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

03/13/05 Sunday

In an earlier post I parallelled dating to the interview process. I just want it made clear that I despise interviews -- both as the interviewer and the interviewee. In fact, my level of dislike for interviews is only nominally greater than my extreme dislike of dating. The date-ees? Sure.. those I like... um.. most of the time. Relationships? Yes. But "dating"? Blech.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

03/12/2005 Saturday -- Discontent

I'm at discontented loose ends today, not sure quite why. Ok, I am sure why, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it, if anything. And I'm not entirely certain I can put my finger on it & keep it there. But I'm gonna give it a try. Here we go...

This suspicion has been growing on me lately that I'm just not all that. That whatever the glowing promise of youth's successes heaped upon my unworthy head, I have not lived up to any of it. Am not living up to any of it. I spent many hours in my youth wishing fervently that I was more "like everyone else". I dreamed some miracle would make my mind work like all the other people's I knew & that it's non-mainstream tendencies would quit getting me in trouble & ostracized from my peers. Well folks, it was a small town... in many ways, "Big fish, small pond". (In other ways, teeny fish.) But now, bigger pond, bigger fish... my mom always told me I should be careful what I wish for. Every time some got-a-6-on-their-ACT's-flunkie laughed at me, every time a coworker or boss who didn't know how "brainstorming" was truly supposed to work rolled their eyes, every time a friend disgustedly asked "what did you just say? What's that word mean?", I wished ever so fervently to be even a smidge more "average", and I'm a bit disgruntled to find that I believe I may have finally made it.

Last night's gaming brought the subject to the fore for me, & I found myself in an internal introspection & debate for most of the evening. I know I completely missed out on a good 75% of the adventure, but it just hit the switch for me & I had to shut down, analyze & evaluate. The ever intriguing, if-nothing-else-life-is-never-dull-around-him, so-sick & twisted-we-can't-quite-bring-ourselves-to-kill-him-but-we-really-ought-to-have-done-it-ages-ago Le'Mule (it's really "Lemuel"... but along the way he picked up a pair of horse legs, and he is more than a bit of a jackass, so...) managed to finegle (as he always does) us into following Rosa and Helstrom through a portal into the very bowels of Hell itself in search of Rosa's departed son Johnny (that's why WE went -- 'cause we just couldn't let Rosa go alone) and Helstrom's dearly departed wife (that's why Lemuel went.. sort of). There are some great creative imaginations sitting around that table, and simply as a matter of fleshing out the story & making it "real", the discussion ran towards what this "Hell" was gonna look like, how it was layered/designed/organized.... of course, the GM moves things along, but Joe's great about building his story around ours, and excellent design ideas are always run with. Since Le'Mule is essentially atheist but with a scholar's background knowledge of Christianity, the vision of this Hell we were traversing began to take on a Dante-ian organization. Of course someone had to pop up & go digging for their own dog earred copy of the Inferno so folks could check their memories.... but while the theories and the conversation was flying, I took a little internal dive.

Dante's Inferno? The Seventh Circle of Hell? WTF? The phrases were ringing faint little bells, but I'd be damned (ha. indeed.) if I could remember having read it. Had. Not. Read. It? WTF?!?!?! How could I be running into such a literary & cultural reference & not be able to discuss it even superficially? Now... after a little digging about in my memory banks, I did finally locate a vague recollection that yes, I had read it. In about 4th grade. (Yeah, 4th grade. Right along with Lord of the Flies, Little Women, Black Beauty, The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side of the Septic Tank, The Nancy Drew Series, the back of cereal boxes, and Poems for the John. I devoured everything I could get my hands on back then.) Lot of good that did me, 'cause apparently I didn't retain it beyond motherhood. I can remember what happened on Friends the other night, but can't remember anything about Dante? Crap.

Then today I'm having a little chatlet with an ever so eclectic acquaintance of mine who says they met a hot little number over the weekend who had not a chance in a million at snagging the joe for the long term. Why? Because she was "smart and funny, but not REALLY smart". After last night's little philosophical kick in the ego, maybe I'm a little sensitive to the topic, but ... whoa, Nelly... that's ME! (and not all that much of a hot little number these days, either, I'll have to admit.) A quick leafing through my mental notebooks finds that an enormous percentage of things I've read, devoured, dissected through the years is mush. Theories I was entranced by and mulled over in private and with friends in High School & college are gone. I couldn't locate a good reference convincingly to save my soul, let alone win a debate. I've never liked politics, so my knowledge there is severely limited with only a vague desire to sharpen it further. I seem to have followed my mom's bent towards ignoring most current events unless they barge insistingly into my immediate life, and yet I hate not knowing about the "cool fun" things going on in our community. While Walden's Pond sounds a bit like a quiet hell with nothing to do, another part of me yearns for the simple silence -- I suspect that the older I grow, the more attractive it will become. Where did I go?

I've never been able to remember the rules to a card game -- gimme a run through first & I relearn it mighty spiffy. After that first run, we can play all night. If you're just average to good, I'll probably even beat you 40-50% of the time. But two nights later, if we sit down to play again, game rules are gone from my brain like cake left on the table with a 5 y/o in the house. It's been that way all my life.... but I never expected the black hole effect to segue from card games to literary references... to conversational topics... to what I think of as hallmarks of real intelligence!

Now, yes, I did borrow the book (Dante's Inferno) last night & have every intention of refreshing my sorry-ass memory for literature's sake. Ok, actually for the sake of my own stubborn pride...(if the field gets plowed, who cares why?) And if I just bone up a little before we debate, I know darn good & well it'll still be a zippy conversation. I might even win. The problem is, I used to be able to pull that sort of thing out of my ass. No studying needed! I used to celebrate mundanity as a soothing slice of something simple in a mental world of the wierd & complicated, and now I'm mildly concerned that it's become the whole pie. I just don't know that there's anything I'm going to do about it. That rides rough on some surviving remnant of that wild tendencied personality I've managed to drown in banality for several years now. There's a battle going on in my soul for control of my mind & both sides are starting to decide it just ain't worth the angst.

But you know what? Some of that mundanity is comforting. I like having a firm grasp of which bills are paid & what's in the fridge for supper. Back in the day, I missed out on both of those things. A lot. I can appreciate the sweet simplicity of snuggling with my daughter between bath & bedtime, and I look forward to the day I can start shopping for a couch that'll comfortably fit two adults instead of just B&I. I enjoy talking about nothing but our daily affairs with some of my friends, and appreciate the ability to have long sweet silences that aren't awkward. I like being able to walk into & out of a meeting at work without having had my boss look crosseyed at an unconventional idea of mine even once. I hate the thought that I may have slipped into the ranks of "smart & funny, but not REALLY smart"... but if I have, maybe the trade off is worth it. I dunno. I know I want the man I end up with to have a brain that can process ALL those sorts of things, dissect them, analyze them, discuss them... challenge me, titillate me mentally (physically too, but this ain't that kinda post!)... and I certainly don't want that to be a one way street. Damn. Well..... I'm gonna go do the dishes, make some PB&J, put the girls in the bathtub & get them to bed. (B's got a friend spending the night.) In the absence of something warm & male to distract me, I'm going to split what's left of my evening between channel surfing the mindless drivel on TV for a cheap laugh or two and painting a bit of wall, then I'm gonna snuggle up in bed with Dante & a box of cookies & see if my brain remembers anything from 4th grade besides who it had a crush on.

P.S. Yes, THAT it remembers. Greg Evigan and Scott Baio (TV stars), Bob Knake & Steve Detrick (friends). Geez. Stupid brain.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

03/09/05 Tuesday - Mundanity is Sexy

I may be in the minority of single people in America, but I think mundanity is sexy. Yeah, sure, I like a little spice.. a little flare.. a little "wow!" every now & then just like everyone else, but once my attention has been captured, one of the things that really keeps me interested in someone is their willingness & ability to share the things in their everyday life with another human being - me. Maybe it's because I'm honestly looking for a partner. If I'm lucky, I might even pick up a friend or two along the way (and should that happen, I'll do my best to give it appropriate focus!). However, that's really my relationship focus for the time being - a single significant other with whom to share lifes foibles for a good long time to come. Even with folks that are just great to talk to, what I'm looking for are people who are going to still be around in my life when my boobs hit the floor & my teeth are on the nightstand. If someone's gonna be around that long, then we better hope that one or both of us can make strained peas sound like a good time. I mean, THINK about it! Out of all the spectacular moments in your life that you can recall, how much actual time did those moments take? I figure if I really concentrate, I've got maybe an hour or two of reel time straight through. I'm pushing 36 -- that leaves roughly 315358 hours of stuff that wasn't all that "wow". Nothing necessarily wrong with it... it just wasn't anything that inspired fireworks anywhere. Yes, I like fireworks. Yes, I even need fireworks now & then. Yes, I probably wouldn't stay interested in anyone with whom there were NO fireworks at all. No, I don't want fireworks every single time I talk to them. The glue that holds the spectacular together is made up of tiny nothings... and the people who share those tiny nothings in a pleasant way, who flesh out the lives they share with me with reality, even mundanity, are the ones I want around when the spectacular comes to call.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

03/02/05 Wednesday

Ooops... lost a blog entry. I was even warned... must be an epidemic. Wasn't all that schmancy anyway. Staff today -- gone to STL. More later.... maybe....

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

03/01/05 Tuesday

Laryngitis. I'm ringing in the month of March with laryngitis. Today yet another meeting with XX -- for which I had to walk 3 blocks in the cold b/c their doors were locked when I arrived (had to go find a phone to tell them to let me in), then of course be responsible for at least 90% of the talking through the whole meeting. Good thing my personal phone isn't doing much ringing right about now! Although I suppose I could manage to just murmer "mmhmmm" here & there, or even whisper sweet nothings & breathe heavy if it came to that.....