Thursday, September 27, 2012

20 Second Movie Review

Bill and I rewatched There Will Be Blood tonight and I love this movie. I love how harsh it is and how thickly beautiful all the shots feel.

I wanted to love The Master in the same way, but I didn't.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Someone's Got My Number

My Enneagram number that is, hahaha! [smile and scene]

I just retook the Enneagram test to see how things may have changed in the years since I took it, and I tested as a 6, and this description seems to be very true of me now.

You can take the test at enneagraminstitute.com. Type 6 apparently has a basic desire for security and support, and in the midst of all the contradictions and thinking, and seeing sides of everything, it makes sense to me how support is necessary! This type is a thinking type and has a difficult time listening to inner guidance, and this, I think, was the larger point in my last post.

I am trying to listen to myself, and it's interesting to hear that this is probably a necessary thing for people like me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Grumpy Gus Creations

This is the cutest thing you are going to see in a while: my sister's Etsy store, Grumpy Gus Creations.

You must go to her site and see some ridiculously cute animal pants with tail. You must also see her inventive skirts, modeled by the most beautiful niece in the world.

You are out of options; you must visit the site!

Going Forward

I have almost loved giving up on my writing goal this month. Other than the not writing part, which I actually miss, but only in terms of the physical activity of typing or pencilling out letters and not in terms of the mental anguish of creating sentences, it has been a fruitful languid period.

I learned that writing or not writing does not make me any more or any less me. I still relate to my world verbally. I still get the same songs stuck in my head. I wake up at the same time and go to bed earlier, but do not fall asleep earlier. The dirty clothes still collect in the same piles. LZ still presses his face in my face, running his teeth along my nose before moving and collapsing over my arm.

This morning Melody Beattie's meditation said to consider that God doesn't need to read me the whole story of my life before I start living it. That really hit home because it is true of my approach to life. I want to know it before I do it.

It really struck me today that September is almost over and we are approaching the end of the year. I have wanted this year to last longer. I have held so many hopes and dreams for myself this year. As each month would roll around, I would think, "Pretty good this time, but not quite good enough. Maybe next month." And the goals and deadlines would begin again--some met and some not.

I have been reading about the feminine. I have been tracking my moods in relation to my cycle. I am trying to understand not only biology, but to understand ways God manifests. I am trying to understand people and the way life works. And I feel ashamed to say that I have been beating myself up in this process.

I have never been good enough for myself. I do not give myself any credit. I find ways to run from credit and run from listening to myself. I identify with wanting to remain hidden and to be discovered. This is why I have thought every man I've been with has been a genius and then a total fucking idiot once we separate; who would release a golden discovery?

I would.

Think of all the things I have known but have questioned regardless.

Basic example: I treasure my weekends and use that time to do all the things I do not do during the day. I love unstructured structured time. Time to talk, eat, exercise, shower, read while working on larger projects. Yet I have been on the job market this year to see what's out there--I have been trying to find a prison that's maybe a bit better than the one I am in right now.

There's nothing wrong with that except that I have been trying to fit into something I'm not. Still. I still try to do this!

Sister Ellie advice from a few years back comes in: if you are going to pursue a higher order joy, then this must always be in sight.

I can't give up one system and then settle for another. My own life and freedom is what I'm in search of.

And I think--I just think--I can only get there if I get real quiet and listen. Listen to what's around me and listen to myself.

I hear old voices commenting on previous choices, "I should have . . . I should . . ."

And today I told myself that my past is just simply my past. Boring. Old. What got me to the point I'm at now. It ain't no thing; it's certainly not everything. It may never make a good story, but it's going to help shape where I go next.

I think of Woody Allen's life and his large body of work. I wonder, "Is it boring to be so prolific?" I see how what I want most--my own time--may not happen if I achieve any of my dreams. I might be able to acquire accomplishments, but will I have something more of myself as a result?

I love Woody Allen. I mostly love him because Bill loves him so much, and there is nothing like seeing and listening to Bill laugh when Allen steps out of his VW bug and into a manhole while talking about dignity. That laughter means something to me.

Eating a dinner of cheese and crackers means something to me.

I have been mentally cataloguing compliments I receive and the positive comments and insights those around me make. These are serving as sign posts guiding me along a happy path. It's easy for me to take big dips and detours. Why not be happy along the way?

Of all the introspection, I am deeply intwined with others' wellbeing. I care deeply and it's hard to show this on a consistent basis. It is difficult for me to be consistent with anything! It just is that way for me. These simply have to be my strengths, and I think I can continue to develop into the type of person that I want to be around and not only the type of person someone else would want to be around.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Giving Up

I have botched my writing goal for this month. No flowers for this kid this month.

And because I am so tired and because I have had a day and because I keep confronting moments from the past I am thinking I will probably just not write yet again tonight.

Last night had this hopeful thought that maybe I had recalled all my memories from childhood and I could then stop writing about my early years. But then I had to remember the first stereo I bought. Why did I have to remember that?! And now it's the only thing to write about, and I do not want to write about it.

Last night I also had a hope that I would handwrite a page a day on the other project I'm working on. Handwriting seems to be the only way this puppy is going to be written. And, as if the Universe bent all the way down to give me a kiss, this project is taking place in a notebook Bill got for me and the lines are wide-ruled--this means a page per day is not bad. It's definitely not as bad as if I had picked out a notebook and gotten the standard college-ruled lines.

But tonight those lines do not look nearly wide enough and I am faced with a blank page that will only be filled with crap. But only if I write! If I don't, they will remain pristine.

There's a larger tug pulling me today. It lies somewhere between stupid questions people ask in classes where they should know better (willing ignorance) and exertion in helping people get through a difficulty. Where is myself in this, might be one way I would describe this feeling. What can others do for themselves and why aren't they? Where can't they? What can I do to help?

I feel stronger than I ever have before, yet I feel something unknown. As if all the dreams I had for myself for this year are colored in a light shade of bright pink. False, in a sense. Pretty enough, but removed. Something to get me to another point. And maybe it's just because it's fall and just because it was a sunny day with a crispness, but there's a sense that I can bloom into something, if only it can show itself to me. There's a path I've been on and I would like to see it lead to a place and I would like to be in that place for a while.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Judging a Book

I have just started reading a book that I don't think I'm going to like a whole lot, but I can feel myself sinking into it like a guilty pleasure. I am keeping it by the bed to remind myself that it cannot become anything more to me than a throw-away book--something to read before trying to sleep. But I know, soon, I will carry it with me around the house--read it while Bill is playing a video game--and then pride myself on finishing another book and think, "I can write better than this. When will I be published?"

I just have such a curious feeling right now. There are so many books I want to read and I am choosing to spend my time on ones that don't require much of me and don't really inspire me. But I still feel the urge to read these subpar books. It is like an addiction to junk food. I have fantasies about a wholesome, well-rounded, and healthy life, but when it comes down to it, these moments are often sacrificed for something a little easier and trashier--something that makes me feel just a little superior and just a little gross inside.

It occurs to me now, that maybe what I get tired of is all the preachiness and all the shoulds. I know I get turned-off when things are not my idea to begin with; so, when I find a cheap book hidden at the library, I think, "I found this; this is my treasure!" And I am willing to explore it just for that sense, even at the sake of content. That's a smaller version of how I live my life. I discover individualized, private pleasures that are never grandiose and are sometimes very crappy.

(This makes me laugh so hard!)

(Courtney: surveyor of the less-finer things in life. Since 1980.)

This is partially connected to reading O, The Oprah Magazine this morning and getting to the pages that recommend neat and functional products. I've been influenced by ads and recommendations, of course, but I have not really been one to try a product based on something I read or saw. I don't like being bossed around like that. But there is something that looks so appealing about having an avocado cutter and slicer gadget, about having a tri-colored velvet clutch. About having a clutch at all. I like the fantasy, yet do not see how my personality could accept things like that right now. I just don't know what this feeling is about. Maybe it's just about poking a little fun at myself and the world around me. One thing about material things (like books and products) are that they can take themselves pretty seriously, even if they put on a whimsical air.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Last Update Tonight

Before I head to bed, I want to share:
-how beautiful the sunset was tonight.

Also, I am officially on page one hundred of my childhood memories. And if anyone ever reads them, then my life will be over. I thought, a month or so ago, that they might work as a piece, but they won't. Ever. This is just something I'm going through so that I can learn to write a little thing that other people call fiction (a genre where apparently not everything is either overtly or covertly about you). But anyway, I have one hundred pages of shit. For some of us, this is called writing. It's a lot like how I practice the guitar. (Which is to say, amazingly. See previous post.)

I also wanted to share that instead of wasting writing time by reading The Onion, I can now waste it by looking at my fantasy football team, which won their first game. I'd like to say that I have a little bit to do with random selection and forcing people into spectacle and early bodily decay. Just a little bit.

Revision and Comment on Male Friendships

I have written a minor masterpiece of a poem. The only problem with it is that it is somewhat flawed and utterly tedious. It is like trying to read the end notes of a book that you don't even want to be reading in the first place.

I am trying to find out if someone will publish it. It has been rejected once, and Bill's advice is to leave it alone and send it out again once editors turn over and new eyes will be available.

So I have left alone. I just read it to myself, in the mirror, and found a couple of lines to cut and a few words to rearrange. But that's it. It remains long, hard, and somewhat unpleasurable. It's like being held hostage by a funny, chatty coworker--you want to stay, but then you think, "Doesn't this person have anything else to do except rehash stories from the past? How can I politely break away and get back to my duties? Why am I fascinated by this creature who, underneath, seems self-loathing and alone? And do I have to be that way in order to one day tell a good story, too? DO I? WHY AM I STILL LISTENING? Oh my god, she's funny and I agree with everything she's saying." This is pretty much the experience I had reading my poem to myself.

The thing of it is, I am planning to send the poem to a friend whom I haven't spoken with in a while. Sometimes you have to pick up your old friends, dust them off, and welcome them back into the world once they have fallen of the map. You have to reclaim them and remind them that they what they do matters to you and they can't go walking around too long without at least saying hi once in a while. Just like sometimes you have to let friends go off the map and stay there until they want to come out or until, really, you think it just might be healthier to be on different maps. At least for a while. Who knows? I don't really know. It comes in waves, I suppose.

But this friend that I will send my poem to is someone who wants to know what I write, but I haven't shared too much with him. I am hoping that he will then be forced to acknowledge that I have been trying to get a hold of him!

I have been having a mini-renaissance with my male friendships lately. I have realized how much I value my male friends and how I miss having these friendships when they are not around. Sometimes I think being friends with men can be more content-driven because there is a lack of competition. Or, maybe they are more competitive because they can focus on accomplishments and results. Obviously I'm talking out my ass because who is to say that one male friend I have is more similar to another male friend because of gender than he might be to a female friend? I think, partially, that I am trying to say that it is good for me to have male friends in order to better understand why I would be attracted to one man over all other men--to understand better the idea of partnering with one person and having less-intimate connections with other people. This type of thing has been an issue for me in the past, and it is something that's neat to come back to as an adult with more experience to draw from.

Tuning guitar . . .

. . .was a lot of work. I am calling it "practice."

I just practiced guitar.

Tonight's Events

I'm just feeling chatty and I'm going to take it out on this blog.

I have been thinking lately that I am psychic and the people around me are psychic. This feeling is distinct from thinking everything is a sign--that kind of manic energy. Instead, I think about people and then I see them. Someone says something and I think, "Whoa, they are right." And I get good feelings and I try to go with them.

Like lately, I have had the feeling that I need to get a few piece to complement a dress I have. So for this week's artist's date, I planned to take myself to the Salvation Army to see if I could dig up a colorful pair of heels and a black blazer.

Once I got home from work, I was famished. And Bill said we could go out for dinner, and I said that would be fancy. I opened the fridge to assess the meals we could make and he asked what I was doing.

"I'm seeing what we have!" I replied.

"I'll tell you what we don't have. We don't have anything that's out," Bill stated.

I made my eyes big and exclaimed, "You are right! We are absolutely out of everything that is out there!"

After dinner, it was about 6:40, I thought the Salvation Army closed at 7 pm. So I called them and tonight is the night they are open late, until 8 pm. And it's also half off clothes! I zoomed over and looked through the black blazers. Nothing. I looked through the dresses, just for fun. Nothing. I looked through the shoes. Nope. And then I looked through the purses. I found an older black leather purse with a clasp top and the original pocket mirror. I loved it, yet thought maybe it was too playful and I would look like I was trying at something I'm not when I went to use it. But I thought, "It's a date. It's ok to spend a little frivolous money on a date."

So I got the purse. It was $3.24. And while I was checking out, there was a man in his 40s or so with a large sun hat and a Bible. He was chatting and seemed to be taking his time finishing at the register. While he stood at the counter, the cashier checked me out. The man started talking about the purse and how he wouldn't be surprised if it was from the '50s and that it reminded him of something his mom used to have. He said the clasp was probably gold-plated. I was not wanting to play Antiques Roadshow with someone, especially when I took him to be someone who was going to tell me about the End Times. Yet he seemed like he wanted to talk, so I opened the purse and showed him the mirror. He said I just got a steal. I told him that I just wanted to have a piece that I could have fun with, and he understood.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Some connections I had been missing!

I just had a good conversation and think I may have had a breakthrough! I think I may have worked through some anger because right now I have the feeling that I no longer feel stuck even though I do not know where I'm going. Which comes first, the feeling stuck or the anger? I do not know, but I see, now, how they are related.

I remember the weekend before Ye Olde Apartment Fire I had been hiking and I said to the Universe (about my divorce and such), "Now, I know what impermanence is!" And then the Universe said, "Do you really?"

I had always taken the fire as punishment for my comment. Now, it occurs to me, that it was just a long joke that I can come back to and speak about with more confidence.

It just occurs to me that we don't know something until we know something.

Like today at work I was sitting through a meeting in a conference room with inspirational posters. One said something along the lines of, "Embrace the challenge so that you can feel the exhilaration (or thrill?) of success."

And that's part of problem--minimizing everything we do, questioning everything we suspect . . . feeling stuck, feeling angry . . .

The answer is not simple, yet it seems to be something like sticking with it, sticking with it, and sticking with it. Smiling, laughing, talking, breathing, and dropping the story that things could be any other way than the way they are. (So hard. So hard!)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Back-to-Back Beattie

From More Language of Letting Go:

Trust that you'll be guided along your path and receive exactly the help and guidance you need. Then give it time.

There really isn't an easier, softer way (281).

* * *

When nothing in our lives feels right, sometimes the answer isn't doing more or searching frantically for the miracle we need. The miracle comes when we accept, believe, and trust that who we are right now is who we need to be (282).

Sunday, September 9, 2012

(Tall) Source of Gentleness: Bill

Just a couple of hours ago, I ran out to the garage to let Bill know that we had a household emergency--the drainage lines were gurgling and the toilet was mildly overflowing. Having just been using the toilet, I was mortified.

Turns out Bill has had this problem before and it is that there are weeds growing in the lines because the lines are so old that there is no more concrete.

I have done some toilet-related activities this afternoon that I have never wanted to do. And instead of flailing on the ground crying I thought, "If Katniss Everdeen can survive the Hunger Games, I can probably manage this." I figured that was pretty awesome of me, considering my other thought, "I am a princess; I do not do this." But I did it.

In the meantime, Bill stops his project to see what needs to be done, and he is nothing if not positive in an emergency. "It could be worse because . . ." "This is good news because . . ." "This is nothing like when . . ."

And he just kind of comes through like that.

The other night I dreamt he was going to carry our baby (not that we have one or anything) for the first couple of months and then I would get the baby. Right away he starts complaining that his hips hurt and I tell him that he's not even built for this!

I told real-life Bill the dream and he stated that he wanted to be pregnant because then he could do more complaining. The thing is, when there's really something to complain about, he doesn't complain.

And, catching my mopey vibe from the past couple of days, he told me that he never wants me to feel unlistened to. And this is how I had been feeling.

On her blog, Spring was just writing about the goodness of her man, and when I got to think about the gentle thing for today, I only came up with Bill. Sometimes when men have it together, they really have it together. It's pretty amazing.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Picture Posting Mood

Now that I downloaded picture from my camera to computer, here's a couple cute cat pictures from the past few months. My (these) kitties are so cute!




Grandma's Thread Holder

In an effort to make things more comfortable, I made Bill help me hang Grandma's thread holder. It's been wrapped since Mom and Dad brought it to me at the beginning of the year. I didn't realize the woman had so many pairs of scissors. There's one spool that is wooden, instead of plastic. My spools are starting to accumulate, and I look forward to adding them to the holder, which I assume my grandpa made. I'll need to check with Mom to know for sure, though.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Water Works

This is my Freewill Astrology horoscope for the week:

Taurus Horoscope for week of September 6, 2012

According to the religion of ancient Egypt, Tefnut is the goddess of moisture. In the natural world, she rules rain, dew, mist, humidity, and condensation. For humans, she is the source of tears, spit, sweat, phlegm, and the wetness produced by sex. In accordance with the astrological omens, I nominate her to be your tutelary spirit in the coming week. I suspect you will thrive by cultivating a fluidic sensibility. You will learn exactly what you need by paying special attention to everything that exudes and spills and flows.

We've had a rain storm in Tulsa; it was beautiful and wonderful. Yet violent, and deadly, in other parts of the state.

I have been crying like nobody's business for the past few days. I am stuck in a grief bubble, replaying the past. I feel like my heart is a cavern with stone trampoline at the bottom; I try to always bounce back, even if it feels hard.

I know I am happy, but wind storms pick up and blow through me, leaving me bewildered and feeling old.

Beamy's impression of me: "You don't even know me!" How many times have I said this and felt this way?! How can it not be a projection of myself onto this world around me?

Bill says he sees my anger level increasing, and I know it's because, deep down, I feel like the bearer of people's miseries, of the planet's miseries. I feel, secretly, like there is nothing I don't know; nothing I haven't heard before.

Like I said to Bill the other night, "Why can't I just learn some material? Whey does everything have to be a life lesson?" He suggested that it's not a bad thing, but that maybe (just maybe) I am cynical.

These are tantrums I have.

On my drive into work, I nearly called in sick. I consider mental health issues to be sick time, and when combined with the supersensitivity of PMS, this is not vacation time.

I asked myself if I felt like going home. Got a gross tummy feeling. I asked myself if I felt like going to work. Got a gross tummy feeling. And then I knew that what was upsetting me was not either going home or going to work. I had not hit on the root issue.

Root issue remains unsolved. Getting closer to this problem, a la Chinese handcuffs, remains a new tactic for me. I have released how often I run and shut down and shut out, and I am not willing to try that right now. It's like when I confronted my deep insecurity a few months ago. I named it to Bill and once I spoke it, I knew I could live with it. The bottom did not fall out.

I am trying (so hard!) to get to my point! My point is, I want every day to be as beautiful as it can be. I don't make a lot of effort in this regard, and I think it's time to change this. I want to be a better advocate for myself and create more gentleness. I want to listen to myself earlier and more completely. I want the love to flow and not get stuck behind stones!

I have an idea to blog about making things more beautiful each day. I am not sure I will do this, but it is an idea. It's just time to face the truth that I am not powerless; I am not merely a receptacle. I can create things, too! And I think it's through creation that I learn the material that I am so badly craving. Here's to that experiment! I encourage the sharing of experiments and sources of inspiration!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Official Announcement

It is time to send my old theme song out with a blessing and gratitude--here's to you, "Take it Easy," by The Eagles. Here's to you.

And here's to my new theme song. Here's to letting the "love flow."

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Armchair Politico

I am LOVING the Democratic National Convention!

Maybe it's hormones, but I have teared up and cried during multiple speeches. I listened to the Republican speeches last week and thought many things, but I did hear some interesting stories and kind of grew to like some of the people in that party.

Yet this week it feels better--like putting truth to power. No bullshit or glossing over what is actually happening. Unfortunately there are many ignorant people out there; thankfully, in the midst of this, there are true leaders who are willing to educate and inspire us.

I am just enjoying hearing that people still have hope for our country--that we can be a society that helps each other and is willing to work in order to create this. The greed we have been living under, as a culture, may be unraveling--this might be a benefit to these difficult economic times.

Anyway. I love hearing strong women unafraid to advocate for women and women's rights. Love it.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

In My Own Skin

Pityriasis rosea is rash that arrives mysteriously and leaves, weeks later, just as mysteriously. There is nothing that can eliminate it faster than it's own cycle, but there are ways to treat it--bathing, lotions, antihistamines.

It usually peaks around a week, and I am hoping this is true because I have had pityriasis rosea (emphasis on the "pity") for a week and I am an itchy mess. I have red spots on my feet, legs, stomach, backside, and arms. I have bruises surrounding the worst itchy parts, from scratching too hard and too long (although I do bruise easily). I have been taking generic Benadryl at night so that I can sleep through most of the night without waking up to scratch.

The past two days have felt better than the beginning of the week, and I definitely feel the beginning of an end.

I came down with the rash while my sister was out visiting. I had such a good time with her--I felt so lucky she could get some time away, especially since she has her family and responsibilities. This trip was part of a promise she made over two years ago; it was a promise that we could do anything she wanted to do when she turned 30. When she made the promise, I had just turned 30 and was telling her it was the best thing ever. I think she sees that now that she is 30. Like me, she seemed to better articulate where she thinks she's heading in life. I think this is what the 30s are for! I love it!

There are stories from my sister's past and present that I want to tell. There are things I want for her and I wonder when or if they will come to fruition. There were stories I shared from our past and discovered I had missed some basic details; something I thought happened to her had actually happened to our little sister. Misremembering helped remind me how we all interpret our families differently. I interpret my family differently as time goes by, so adding in just one person's memories and interpretations adds many dimensions.

The skin rash I came down with is separate from the skin condition my sister has had her entire life. The family life I live is separate from hers. But they all seem so connected, and I can lose myself and compromise boundaries, boundaries which establish a line between true compassion and idiot compassion. I use that word compassion because it is an aspect of myself that Bill says is one of my strengths. I did not see it until he mentioned it. I cried myself into a frenzy--an itchy frenzy--the other night because I was reading about the feminine principle and wondering what in the hell I had going for me. "Who am I?" I wailed.

I know that I am not my sister, even though we share so many qualities and experiences. I know I cannot live my sister's life. I cannot, in fact, live anyone else's life (as my dream stated the other night). The violences I have done in comparing my life to others' had taken a toll on my soul; I am no longer willing to commit such violences. I can only live my life and experience what it feels like to be me--to take action in facing what I get to face and try to make things better than they were before.

Monday night when I was scratching all over and near panic, I told myself that if I were my own child, I would not be ignoring myself. I would take action and try to make that child feel better. So I took myself to the store and bought Aveeno oatmeal bath packets and lotion; I only know these products exist because of my sister's history with them.

I did the best I could that night and the next day I made a doctor's appointment--something which is a luxury that everyone should have access to. I took the steps I could, using the help that was available.

I realize that I am on my own journey, as ordinary as it is. It is something, like my skin, my own.