Have You Ever Noticed?

Okay, so I’m kind of going through a list making phase as prompts for my creative thinking ventures.  The list of the day for me is…

Have You Ever Noticed….

…how if a guy is really into something say football or biking or quads or Nascar and a girl is really into that guy she’ll try to get into whatever he’s into but it doesn’t usually work the other way around?

…how it used to be looked down on to be a stay-at-home mom and now if a woman makes that choice it is more accepted?

…how when you’re in a funk you have to spend some time dealing with it and many times after the funk is over you regret the time you wasted?

…how life can turn on a dime?  Things are rolling right along quite nicely, then the smallest thing happens and it feels like you’ve been thrown into a brick wall at a 100 miles an hour with no protective gear.

…how socks go into the laundry with a perfect match but come out as a single.  Moral of this story?  Lovers should never do laundry together.

…how you can show a kid how to do something a million times and they never get it right…till they move out on their own and get their own place, then suddenly they understand how to do it perfectly.

…how the garbage man has a great job?  He gets to drive around in the big cushy truck all day, never touching the garbage, he gets paid good money and he doesn’t have to take work home with him.

…how most single working moms wish they had a wife who would cook dinner for them and help with the bedtime and bath routine and taxi jobs at the end of the day?

…how when you go to a new medical care provider filling out the form once is not enough, they then have to get a copy of the form, and then you have to go to the inner office where they punch all the same stuff into the computer again. And forget about if you are referred to another provider!

…how kids think they can convince you they aren’t lying by vehemently defending their untruth even though you saw with your own eyes otherwise.  “I didn’t hit her!”  “Uh, excuse me?  I just saw your fist windup and let ‘er fly and land right in her arm!” 

…how you never really crave a particular food (like bread or  pasta) till you decide to cut back on it, then you can’t get enough of it and this is before you’ve even actually started cutting back?!

…how lists like this can be really fun or really tedious or both.  Guess that must mean it is time to end this one…unless, of course…you have something to add?

Blog365 Challenge: Blog Vitamins or The Death Knell?

Alright, I’m in, I suppose.  I can’t believe I’m doing this!  We’ll see how it goes.

I stumbled across this Blog 365 Challenge at http://blog365.ning.com/.  The challenge is to blog every day for a year.  Okay, I guess.  Like a sucker I decided to go for it.  Probably not a smart thing to do considering I’m feeling pretty stale in my writing these days and pretty discouraged about it all.  I mean, there are some really cool blogs out there and, well, mine’s not one of them…yet.  It could be like blog vitamins, this one a day thing or it could spell the death knell for my blog.

But then I tell myself, “Self, you didn’t start this blog thing to take the world by storm, you started this for you so you could practice and get more confident about writing.” 

“Yeah, yeah.  I suppose,” I reply back impatiently, thinking all the while that I’m not sure I’m any more confident and I’m only a little better…sigh. 

What I know is this, to write the good stuff, the stuff that’s thoughtful, intelligent and actually meaningful which might hopefully spark some discussion takes time and that time, at least for me, doesn’t occur in large enough quantities on a daily basis.  Therefore, writing every day is almost becoming a death knell since the only thing I can do is something random and unplanned, like this.   My time doesn’t exactly free up when I go back to school in the fall either.  Oh, what have I done??????

But this Blog 365 was something different and if I don’t make it, who cares? Right? 

I’ll care, I know I will.  I’m just like that.

Kip’s Challenge

My last little benign (or so I thought) post elicited some pointed discussion from a long time reader, Kip. I encourage you to scroll back read the post and his comments and my initial response.  His follow up comment, I will deal with here.  He’s been enough of a burr under my saddle ( I do mean that affectionately)  to earn his own post in response to his last comment.

First his entire comment:

Yes, well, there’s no mystery about the hose attraction, is there? When in doubt, introduce prurience and the mob will take it from there (present company included).

And drama, well, of course. That’s why we read novels and go to plays and watch the tube and if we can’t find it there we create our own.

I expect you’ll keep doing with this blog what you’ve been doing all along. Doing your brain dumps, sifting and sorting the experience of your life, putting it out there for better or worse. Which is fine. But what do you really really want to achieve by doing this in a blog? What role to you want your audience to play, if any? If you want them to acknowledge their presence by talking back, you’re darn well gonna have to provoke them. Get out the big guns. Start spilling out the things we all think about but never say. The things we all want but never acquire. The things we’ve all suffered in silence. Sex, love, death, money. All the biggies. You go girl, I’ll be watching.

*The Wild Mind raps her fingers on the desk in a monotonous pattern while staring pensively at Kip’s comments*

I expect you’ll keep doing with this blog what you’ve been doing all along. Doing your brain dumps, sifting and sorting the experience of your life, putting it out there for better or worse. Which is fine. But what do you really really want to achieve by doing this in a blog?

I originally began this blog to play with writing.  My goals for writing were to improve my writing and to play with a variety of topics and approaches.  This I stated up front.  Another goal, though unstated, was to improve my confidence in my own writing.  I have achieved both these goals to some degree though they are goals that are by nature never completely achievable. While it might not show it here, my writing in other venues has improved tremendously to the point that I am routinely called on to write and edit materials others create before they go to print.  My confidence in my ability to write has improved as well.  Writing for an audience and getting audience feedback albeit sporadically through this blog was a bonus.

I admit, I do not write to intentionally arouse debate or discussion.  I have reasons for this.  Reasons I am scrutinizing myself right now.  It is true that comments are the life of a blog.

Another added benefit of writing on this blog was the sifting sorting process I undertook which Kip refers to in his comment.  Unplanned but valuable to me personally.  I don’t apologize for that, because in the end I don’t write to please others here, I write for my own purposes. I have achieved those purposes with this blog so far.  If it seems less than interesting or meaningful to others based on the presence or absence of comments or interesting content then so be it.  This is my personal journey and it has been valuable to me to sort through the crap I’ve encountered along the way in this format.  Whether I continue in this vein is something I’m weighing.  If I do, I will have achieved my own humble purposes in doing so, audience participation or not.  I am decisively undecided about the direction I want to go with this.

Kip brings up a good point.  What the hell is my purpose here?  Writers generally always write for a purpose. What is mine?  It is a fair question and one I must address.

Next….

What role to you want your audience to play, if any? If you want them to acknowledge their presence by talking back, you’re darn well gonna have to provoke them.

I haven’t decided about this either.  Provoking kind of puts me on the line and I’m not sure I want to take the heat…I’m also not sure I don’t want to either. It is an investment in time and energy which quite frankly I’m not entirely certain I have loads of either to invest in order to present a quality forum.  Certainly not on a daily schedule for sure.  Again, I’m pondering this direction too.

It seems the real question here is not can I or do I want to take the heat, it is, am I up for the mental challenge?  Face it.  It just requires some clarity of thought and some conviction.  While I at times have both of these in spades, I’m not sure I want to put it out there just yet.  On the other hand, maybe it is time I quit lurking in the sidelines and really begin to bring it.

Sigh. This is almost as painful as deciding what to do for a graduate research project.

Start spilling out the things we all think about but never say. The things we all want but never acquire. The things we’ve all suffered in silence. Sex, love, death, money. All the biggies.

Now this is the most interesting thing you’ve said yet.  By that I mean, this is the the statment that has me staring blankly at the screen pondering…pondering…pondering.

Because…

Because if they are the things we all think about but never say there is a reason we never say them!  Maybe they shouldn’t be said? Maybe they can’t be articulated adequately.  Or maybe it would be very healthy to say them. 

And, yes, there is a bit of the chickensh*t in me that says I really don’t want to face the heat!

I get that there’s a challenge that’s been laid down.  Picture me quizzically analyzing said challenge, weighing the costs in terms of time to research, write and respond and then where to focus in light of the many other things I’m also considering.  Plus, there is the knowledge that even after a great deal of time and energy expended my efforts will be lame and weak at best. 

You see, in the end, it isn’t an issue of the quality of writing here, it is a reflection of the quality of my thinking and it is this component I am evaluating and dealing with right now. I simply cannot write anything of quality if I’m not thinking those really wild thoughts and these days, thinking is tough when just as I’m beginning to formulate a thesis statement I’m beset with sibling rivalries, dirty laundry, leaves in the pool and the eternally nagging question of what to fix for dinner.  I hate it, but it is my reality for now.  While I’m fighting it ever so valiantly, sometimes it all just gets me stuck.

Then again, maybe I am just the little podunk cowgirl who really doesn’t have the mental abilities to tango with the big boys. 

Okay, now them’s fightin’ words!

And now, after reading this post,  you must have no doubt that the moniker, “The Wild Mind”, refers not to the bizarre quality and content of the thoughts occurring within said Mind, but instead to the undisciplined and untamed nature of that Mind.

Where Is The Wild Mind Tonight?

There are two times when I find it most difficult to really write.  The first is when I look at the blank white space on the computer screen and my normally overactive mind and imagination go abnormally awol on me.  I hate that.  White space on the computer screen.  Dead space in my head.  Inactive fingers on the keyboard.  It sucks.  Those times make me feel stupid and unimaginative.

The other time is when I have so much I am thinking of that I can’t sort any of it out in any coherent form that a reader could identify with, let alone read and understand.

Tonight, I am dealing with the “too many ideas” scenario instead of the “nothing at all” scenario.  This week was full of amazingly humorous and poignant events all of which merit some serious fabrication in the retelling…just to make a point.  Yet here I sit, stymied by the plethora of possibilities!  It also sucks.

So, tonight, I share in bullet points, as a way of sorting for myself but also as a way of communicating what a really rich “life filled” week I experienced.  My intent is that this post will serve more as a jumping off point for me for future posts than as a real valid post tonight. (Whatever a “real valid post” is.)

This week…things to remember and ponder include…

  • I’ve really revised my perspective on men “going silent”.  Since I yelped about it so much in previous posts here and at my other blog “Welcome to CABsPlace”, I suppose it bears some discussion, but not much. 
  • Death, two friends experienced the death of relatives this week.  Death is a reality that began facing me straight up with the death of a very dear college friend just three months after we graduated, followed shortly by the death of my adoptive dad, my biological dad, my grandparents, and my mother. I’ve also been “privileged” to be the teacher of a student who died…the year they were in my class.  I think it might be God’s way of dealing with my own personal fear of a reality we all must face, sooner or later. Whatever it is, I’m now more able to comfort those who are dealing with loss than I’ve ever been.  This, I think, is a good thing.
  • Dating, wow!  My attitudes, perspectives and goals have changed tremendously in the last year.
  • Life, my future, my present, personal goals and dreams.  I’m changing and growing so much and the pain of this last year and a half seems to be finally bearing some fruit.  I guess the analogy is, I have been through winter, now things are thawing…and Spring is around the corner.  Some stuff in my life is really beginning to blossom on a professional level as well as a personal level. 
  • Tawdry fun…yes…there were plenty of every day occurences this week (namely the firefighters that visited with their BIG fire truck) that made me think fondly of all my slightly naughty friends here…there were just so many analogies that I was able to devise from that one event.  Just know I was thinking of you all!  Look for the post about Fire Trucks!  LOL! 
  • Music, goals, life, dreams, fairy tales, the whole ball of wax…there’s just so much to enjoy and angst about it life and a lesson everywhere you turn. It must be written!

And that is where I am tonight.  I hope to write it all, because that is what I am about…but I must also balance the writing with the living…and right now…there is so much to live!

A Million Ideas

I have a million ideas just waiting to be penned, and no time to spare.

If I don’t get going, I’ll be late for work…and that would not be a good thing…especially today of all days. 

Sigh. 

It’ll have to keep for tomorrow.

Sabbatical?

No, I’m not taking a sabbatical from writing.  Things have just been incredibly busy for me.  It is really funny how life can churn like ocean waves and the next thing you know it is like taking your boat out early in the morning before any other boats have disturbed the surface of the water.  Glass.  A water skier’s delight.

The latter part of this week and all of the weekend, while filled with activity, I experienced The Glass Effect emotionally. 

Crazy week coming up.  Not so sure I’m ready, but well, so it goes. 

I have several posts in the works, but couldn’t devote any time to them really to flesh them out so they sit in my drafts folder waiting for a future date when they make post.

Oh, yeah, I went to church today.  That was something.

I’ll have to tell you about it.  Just can’t right now.  I’m tired and it’s late.  I knew this month was going to be insane.

The Writer’s Demise

Seriously, I don’t know how good (read paid and making it financially or aka J.K. Rowling and other) writers do it.

Okay, here’s the deal for me tonight. 

I have a million things spinning around in my head.  Several great topics started.  One…or two…almost finished.  Nothing ready to post.  This is not like me.  I usually post without thinking and that is painfully evident to us all…please do not comment on that reality.

But in the last 48 hours I have had…

….the I.J. break up with me (okay, really, really that’s good, because remember the post about that dating problem awhile back that got so much interaction?….Well….hahaha!)  Really, you so need to see the email, but…I haven’t had the freaking time.  He decided to break up with me (in a sense) and I decided to really do nothing about it…hmmmm…maybe I should have done something different?  But we’ll all never know because this week I have no time to sit down and write anything more thoughtful and creative than “I have no time”.  That sucks!  How do good writers get around that?

…the news delivered to me that my most recent X (God forbid there will be more than I already have) is going to be married soon.  That’s always great fun…and in my case…I’m not really joking…it is fun!  I have just one more excuse to quit here and do something else…maybe in another country or…at least at a university…whatever…I’m leaving this place and not feeling a bit bad about it…I don’t care how long it takes.  I’m not going to live in this valley and run into two brainless (okay that was mean) women who push their boobs out and look at me like, “Hey, we got what you weren’t capable of keeping.”   Yeah, have that ladies, if that’s what makes you happy.

But, of course, that all brings to mind the idea that a failed relationship is not all one person’s fault.  So, I’ve denigrated the X’s plenty…it is only fair to ask…what part of the failures do I own?  Would make for  a decent post maybe?

…Wow!  Tons of stuff on the professional front to tangle with.  I’m waffling from feeling like I have my game on to “I got next” every other minute…it’s a real trip and I kinda like it…but that ‘s because I’m in a place in life where I can afford to play…take risks…and have fun…(read, I’m secure in my job and my abilities at least right now).

…the news delivered to me that my youngest has a freakin’ high I.Q,~  Oh, man, sucks to be my kid, sucks to have friends that are school psychs….and sucks to be the cute little blonde girl who is sooo underachieving and has a (mostly) brunette brainiac mom.

I could go on, but won’t.

The writer’s demise is this…there is so much to write about…and so little time…and where do we carve that time out…because good…scrap good…any writing takes time.  Where does one find the time in the daily schedule of life? 

I guess we just wait for the weekend…

Home Alone…On A Saturday Night

I’m home alone. No kids.  No dates. Would you think less of me if I told you that the no dates part was not my choice?  It was my choice.  I had invites.  I turned them down.  I wanted to be alone.  I needed to be alone.  Am I sick or what???  The world does not understand those of us who can tolerate solitude and silence indefinitely.  However, I have to admit, while I am solo tonight, I am not silent.

Playing in the 5 CD changer in the living room is a random mixture of Colbie Callat, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Nickel Creek and Cold Play. 

I’ve just finished a dinner of gourmet salad and barbecue steak and excellent Southern Oregon Pinot Noir.

I am pretty much done with the “chores” of the day (like I did so much!) and am going to take the evening and do whatever I want to do…which is blog and read the blogs of my other bloggy friends.

No kids here tonight. Oh, yeah.  I already said that.  Must be the Pinot Noir taking over. This is the weekend for the youngest three to be at their respective dad’s places and Number 1 is out with friends.  I won’t see her till after 1:00 tomorrow a.m. and I’m so not waiting up.  She’s such an awesome kid.  But anybody mess with her and I’ll load my Colt Police Positive so fast it’ll make your head spin.

I love writing.  It is good therapy, and a great outlet for all the crap that spins incessantly through my mind in a given day.  Once I write it…I feel I can finally dump it.  Good therapy.  Just understand that what you read here is the crap I dump and not necessarily the real me sans dumped crap.  *tosses her long auburn lock, winks, smiles and giggles charmingly*

Tonight is the night I’ve been waiting for all winter long.  Tonight we set our clocks ahead one hour for Daylight Savings Time.  This so totally rocks.  Heck (he he) no!  I do not like invisibly losing an hour of my life but I sooooo love the later light in the evenings. It is summer now…no matter what.   And I begin to live accordingly.  However, since I’m a bit slow in getting after some of my New Year’s Resolutions, I’m glad that according to others it is not really summer.  In any event, I informed Number 1 that she is now going to be walking home from work starting Monday.  She wasn’t so into that. I was really into that.  Means I just gained a regular workout time!  Wahooo!!!  And, she needs the exercise anyway, not because she’s fat…she’s anything but…but fitness and endurance have not been her priority.  Now we start.

Life is looking up.  Not perfect, but definitely up from where I’ve been.  The district is not going to have to cut days out of the school year, I have several opportunities to earn extra income and not take a whole bunch extra time out of my life in the next two months and this is a good thing.  I still have 3 personal days I can use to attach to a weekend so I can get some work done around here.  Nice!  Debt is going down faster with every passing month and income is stable.  Cars are running and the house is not collapsing around me and I am incredibly grateful.  I also have a student teacher starting in my class on Monday.  Life so totally rocks!  I can focus on my other “professional development activities” while she is teaching class.  I’m rolling on the floor thinking how this is such a win-win for both of us.

I so think all of this deserves some solo hot tubbing in the nude!  Oh, wait, I didn’t really say that did I?  *blushes and smiles coyly* Naaa!  I’d never go hot tubbing nude, would I?????? 

You tell me.  Would I?  Should I? Sam I am?

God and Goddess (small “g”)

I love it when I come across bloggers who really entertain me with their ramblings.  It is like picking up the very best off the New York Times bestseller book rack at the local Barnes & Noble only way cheaper and far more convenient.  Plus, after I get done reading them, I don’t have some trashy paperback that I have to stuff in the box for the monthly run to the local Book Exchange.  It’s just too much fun! 

So, here are two I’m adding to my blogroll today.  I think I’ve fallen in love with both of them.  Well, hell, I don’t even know these people but I love what they write and how they interpret the world.  I tend to lean too much toward the introspective and contemplative, boring, pondering side of life so these people pretty much help me pull my head out.  And…well…they make me laugh.  When so much of my world is filled with bad Knock Knock jokes, tattling,  stuff written at a 5th grade reading level (which I really enjoy by the way), and Jolly Ranchers (which I don’t enjoy so much since I feel like I’m cheating on the Three Musketeers every time I try one), it is good to come home to these adult humor types.  Plus, they refer to the world of corporate America which I left moons ago to pursue the idealistic dream that I could make a difference in the world while playing dodgeball on Fridays, teaching analytic writing traits, math problem solving and making band-aids readily available for every little thing all the while attempting to call it “instruction”.  Yeah right.

Anyway, my two new best blogger friends…a god and goddess of Blogdom in their own rights can be found at:

On Becoming A Universal and Narcissistic God

and

Bridget Jones Has Nothing On Me  

See!   Even the titles of their blogs are entertaining!  Anyway, I know they’re fun when my kids come in from the other side of the house to ask me why I’m laughing so hard. 

They’re definitely two more for the blogroll!  Well, after I get back from the Taxi Mom Shuttle trip I have to make.

Seedling Stories in Good Company

Ack!  What I really want to do is take my time.  I want jot the words down quickly then go back through slowly to edit and rewrite choosing each word carefully.  I want to think about ways to creatively portray the events and capture the sights, sounds, scents, emotions of the experiences of the last week.  There have been many. 

Last night out with friends listening to a local live band was one.  Hearing updates from both Mexico Friend and Chrismas Friend were others.  Another story is poking its way into my gray matter like a small bean sprout working its way out of the earth.  I don’t know whether to refer to this friend as the Bag Lady or Roadkill Jill?  I’m stumped on that one. Maybe she gets to be both.

But what I really don’t want to do is delay this wonderful day anymore.  I haven’t time this morning to meander here.  I’ve got plans.  I’ve usually got plans but these plans are going to absorb most of the next two days and I won’t be able to multitask like I do with housecleaning, laundry and home maintenance.  I’m going wine tasting and will have a wonderful dinner which I do not have to prepare for myself. There will be a movie and breakfast and who knows what else? Most importantly I will be in great company.

You know, the kind of company where the other person actually shows up and talks.  The kind of company where the either of you can begin the conversation and it can go any direction and there’s never a dull moment.  The kind of company where the humorous, dorky and silly moves seamlessly to deep, thoughtful, reflective and back again without so much as a break in the conversatonal tempo.  The kind of company you’ve known for a short while but feel so at ease with that it is as though you’ve known them for years.  The kind of company that makes you wonder why you didn’t meet earlier.

Yeah, that kind of company.

The where and what about my weekend isn’t so significant as the how…and I’m looking forward to it all. 

So, I can’t even edit this piece (I’ll have to do that later) nor can I savor the process of plunking out the new Friendship Stories bursting forth in the soil of my muddy mind. The stories can wait.  Company’s coming, and you don’t meet this kind of company every day.  After all, that could, quite possibly, be the most interesting story of all, well, at least to me.

The Wild Mind and her seedling stories will be in Good Company today!