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10 Things I Will Do This Year

4 Jan

1.  Eat more raw foods. I know, boring but since there’s a cancer/disease connection with what we eat & how our bodies react, I’ll just be bored to death with raw broccoli rather than keeled over in chemo. (Except on lemon bar Fridays.)

2.  Watch less news. I’m sooooo tired of the redundant, never-ending rambling of 24-hour news. I still groan when there’s “Breaking News!!!!!” that covers a police chase in Dayton, Ohio for the entire millions of viewers to follow who live nowhere near Dayton. With supposed interest.

3.  Tone my thighs. They’ve never been toned. They’re jiggly and plain annoying when I stare at them hard. I simply cannot ignore them anymore. I want them rock hard with nickels bouncing off of them and rolling across floors.  Carpeted floors.

4. Not wear a bikini. I’m so over it. I could care less if in middle age I can sport a spandex version of a bra & panties in public. At a beach. Or poolside. Who freggin’ cares? I’d rather focus on helping out people in various binds.

5. Stop saying stuff like “the homeless.” What is that? Who is that? People without a home to call a home are, well, people.  I dunno what it is precisely about that term but it vexes my innermost bits.

6.  Be more patient. (This one makes me a tad afraid. I’m beyond impatient. I glare at the back of people’s heads when they wait until after their 345,608 items are scanned across the checkout before deciding to begin writing out their check, which for some is like a thesis paper.) Less nostril flaring, more pretending to be OK with things.

7.  Imagine myself in other’s shoes. My BF of late has been teaching me this. I blaze through towns like a blazing fire. Or a windy wind. Or an itchy itch.

8.  Inhale less chemicals. I don’t know precisely how I will accomplish this but it sounds good. And healthy.

9.  Become wealthy. Yep, money is a big deal to me especially having been poor and poorer for the past couple of years. There. I’ve stated it: I WILL BE WEALTHY THIS YEAR, MONETARILY. (And I don’t care if it sounds materialistic or not.)

10.  Stop dwelling on yesterday/yesteryear. I’m so tired of explaining to myself what went wrong with everything under the sun. It’s like a cognitive disability.

There. What will YOU do this year?

(I know you’re out there; I have stats to prove it.)

Dirty, Dirty Writer

29 Apr

Friends, I’ve been working on a book that I actually wrote about four years ago. I’ve probably edited it about nine times now. It never ceases to amaze me how many mistakes one can still find after a gazillion edits.

This time around, the book WILL BE PUBLISHED. Period. My inner renegade has awakened. And it’s only April.

When I get into this writer/editing mode it consumes me. I sleep four hours a night. I can’t watch an entire television show without thought bubble interruptions. I’m constantly scribbling notes to self. It’s a dark world but not so dark because whenever I delve in to my literary-ness I sense hope.

But while in the midst of this right brain-ness I become a loner who mumbles a lot and forgets to change my clothes or brush my teeth.

I feel a film forming on them. I think it’s mold.

‘Til next time.

Gone body cleanin’.

8 Mar


Now see, this is the kind of reading I like to wake up to.

Especially this excerpt:

“Creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but they’re also often quiet and at rest. They work long hours, with great concentration, while projecting an aura of freshness and enthusiasm…This does not mean that creative people are hyperactive, always “on.” In fact, they rest often and sleep a lot. The important thing is that they control their energy; it’s not ruled by the calendar, the dock, an external schedule. When necessary, they can focus it like a laser beam; when not, creative types immediately recharge their batteries. They consider the rhythm of activity followed by idleness or reflection very important for the success of their work.

             Creative people tend to be both extroverted and introverted. We’re usually one or the other,   either preferring to be in the thick of crowds or sitting on the sidelines and observing the passing show. In fact, in psychological research, extroversion and introversion are considered the most stable personality traits that differentiate people from each other and that can be reliability measured. Creative individuals, on the other hand, seem to exhibit both traits simultaneously.”

This information makes me happy.

It’s like a flicker of light shining on me. Us. Severely misunderstood creative ones. Us who make no sense in our existence otherwise. The flip side is that this very description sounds like manic/bipolar symptoms. Hmm, so that’s why a coworker once suggested that I try medication. Not to mention random folks I’ve met and–ahem–collided with.

But reading this was spiritual.


Me likey.

The “Definition” of Insanity

7 Jan

So that famous redundant overquoted quote…

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting a different result.” (Albert Einstein)

…I’m sure when I first heard this–probably in the early ’90’s–I thought it was profound. I probably walked around quoting it to others and particularly musing with those who’d never heard it before. But now I find this quote ridiculous.

I mean, let’s break it





“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting a different result.”

To do something “over & over again” could be defined as persistence, tenacity, perserverance, faith.

So how is that insanity?

If it weren’t for “doing the same thing over & over again” would we have lightbulbs or cars or the perfect flaky croissant?

How many inventions would not have been invented if someone decided it was “insane” to keep pushing, keep tweaking, keep “doing the same thing over & over again”?

When you were a kid and you had to keep getting on that bicycle to really learn how to ride it–were you insane (or your parents) for trying over and over again yet expecting a different result?

At five years old when you kept trying to tie your sneakers–oh, those strings that kept getting twisted around your fingers!–was it insanity to keep trying?


I declare, as I get older, far less go-with-the-flow things escape me. And while it’s a doozy noticing so very many things, somebody’s gotta do it.

So it’s good to know I’m not “insane” after all.

(Not that I would let a mere famous quote diagnose me.)

Some Things I Need to Tweak About Myself

29 Nov

1.  I don’t know when it happened. I never knew this about myself. I am a procrastinator. Like, a resident procrastinator. Like, I wear a crown. With diamonds. Rhinestones. I have ideas that have been percolating in my brain crevices for years. I am a classic giver-upper. Note to self: This needs serious tweaking.

2.  I find myself growling at poor drivers. I mean, why do some people use their turn signal only when they’re in a turn only lane?? But these same maniacs will cross four lanes of traffic on a highway to not miss their exit. With no signal. These types of people unnerve me. To the hills. As in I think dirty, dirty thoughts regarding their plight in life. Note to self: Learn the art of ignoring others even when they put your life in danger. And especially when they have goofy bumper stickers on their cars like PRACTICE RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS.

3.  I don’t have to have dessert every day. Yeah, right.  I mean, who says that just because I ate two tons of starch that I have to finish it off with some diabetic-level round-off? (I believe this began in childhood; dessert was the sheer reason we ate our food, cleaned our plates, ate odd foods such as leafy green vegetables in the first place…to get to dessert. A grand dessert finale was always used as a tool of adult manipulation. “If you don’t finish those black-eyed peas, you won’t get any ice cream…” I blame my upbringers. They did this to me.) To this  day I don’t just eat dessert after dinner; I eat dessert after lunch. I’m sugar pathetic. Note to self: Find some other way to end aforementioned starch fest: Gnash teeth instead.

4.  I have a tendency to hold my breath. When I’m in tense situations. When I think about anything that’s annoying / taxing / frightening / dreaded, etc., etc. I often wonder if the bottom of my lungs even experience true air. Hmm. “True air”– I like that term. Note to self: Breathing exercises. Daily.

5.  I must really, really, really, really, really like myself. I mean, I must dig the very fibers of me. Surely I do because I find myself needing, craving, must-having solitude as much as possible. When I’m around other people particularly for prolonged periods of time (like, at work in a cubicle environment or at a party/gathering or even in a crowded Target while post-Thanksgiving shoppers shove my backside with their red baskets) I suddenly need to be alone. I thrive off of peace and quiet. Problem is, it’s been elusive for a looooooooooong time. Note to self: Afford a gated compound. 

6.  Fake it ’til you make it. That’s it. I know that’s it but I fail to adhere to it. Instead I’m blunt, rude when necessary, impatient, brash, audacious, raw and, well, I don’t have a shut-off valve. I’m the person who doesn’t even know I’ve hurt other people’s feelings. In order to survive such a flaw, this is probably why I love fellow blunters people like Pink. Or Roseanne Barr. There’s something to dig about people who just speak their minds with zilch regard to others’ “feelings” all the time. Sometimes the truth just needs to be let out. I’m so not an elephant-in-the-living-room type of girl. I leak. And burst. I ruin carpets. Note to self: Dwell on hardwood floors only.

7. I need to always remember that winter lasts a matter of months. I dread winter. I fear winter. I fret over the first sign of cold. Some people have nightmares about driving off a cliff or accidentally chopping off their index finger . I’ve had nightmares about freezing to death. Or just being really, really cold. I once had a coworker ask me if I had ice in my veins as I sat shivering near a space heater in my cubicle  in the dead of August. I could hibernate every winter and not go near a window or step one foot outside. I could do it. All I need is a paid mortgage/rent and someone to go fetch my groceries. I may become a snowbird like my Godmother. Note to self: Make enough money to flee to Florida each October thru April.

Gone tweakin’.

Ain’t No Father’s Day

20 Jun

I didn’t exactly have a father growing up. I didn’t exactly have a father after I was all grown up. I lived with (was officially adopted by) my maternal grandparents for a part of my childhood so my step-grandfather was my only father. He was a force of nature. He made his own hooch. Nevermind the gnats that congregated in the house and dinged us in the head as we watched “Welcome Back Kotter.” He always drove old beaters that pooped and sighed for several minutes after he’d turned the engine off. He had so much junk in the yard that we suffered teasing throughout our entire childhood. (“Our” being my grandparents’ two youngest kids, my aunt & uncle who were more like my brother and sister). He (still talking about my grandfather) would eat right through moldy foods while we cringed and gagged. He rarely wore new shoes, preferring hand-downs that were “just as good as new.” He worked hard and loved the “women-folk.” When my grandmother got ill, he took care of her like a nurse. He bought us watermelon and cherries and sparklers in the summer. He drove us to school when we missed the bus. In fact, he would drive my sister-aunt and I to McDonalds for what we specifically wanted and then he would drive my brother-uncle to Burger King to get his Whopper, etc.  He never said, “Just eat from the same place.” No, he got it and he accomodated us. He was gentle and kind and fun and precious.

Our daschund loved him more than all of us put together. She would climb into his lap the moment he got home and would not move until he moved. After his kitchen chair nap that he took while still wearing his government jumpsuit with his name patch.

He outlived so many people. He had obituaries piled in boxes. Some of the people he succeeded were half his age. He rented rooms to random people, gave them a place to stay when they were hard up. He loved plants and tools and gardening and the wonder of fruit growing from trees and springing up from soil. He loved the History Channel in later years, sometimes leaving the channel on for days at a time. We would tell him, “Pop, there are other channels.” He would hear none of it. He fought in Pearl Harbor. He was stationed in Guam. He worked on the railroad. He built things.  As an adult, he let me live with him many times either rent-free or dirt rent cheap so that I could “get on my feet.” He was the King of Hospitality offering his home, his sheets, his food, his bathroom, his bread, even his car at times.

He saw so many things come and go, come and go. He lived through assasinations and civil rights and was actually able to see a brown man become President of the United States. With a cane supporting him, he voted for the first time in his life for his “man”, Obama.

His eyes have seen the glory. He loved the Redskins by default. He loved to dance. He loved to tell tall tales.

He was an institution.

He died earlier this year at 92 years of age. He said he planned to make it to 100 but cancer made other plans.

I was driving today and thought of him. Again. I thought, “Gosh, I wish I could just call up Daddy and hear his voice, hear him tell a tale. Go visit him…”

92 years was too short for such a man. Such a man.

Definitions of a Flitterer

14 Jun
flitter – a verb
to move back and forth very rapidly; “the candle flickered”
A less common word for flutter
move back and forth – move in one direction and then into the opposite direction.
flit·ter /v. [intr.] move quickly in an apparently random or purposeless manner: if only you would settle down instead of flittering around the countryside. • n. a fluttering movement: the flash and flitter of colored wings.  (in science fiction) a small personal aircraft.
I try to be focused. I really, really do. I write things down. I write more things down. I am the Notebook Queen. I love whiteboards and black dry erase markers. I have Post-It notes in my car right there on the front seat beside me. I plan, dang-it. I plan to do things, to stay motivated, to get them done. It’s June 14 and I still haven’t mosied my way to NYC to move art–cough–and fundraise. I am still down here in D.C. thrashing around trying to pay a dang bill that’s due TODAY and it looks grim. Another $40 late fee attached to the mountain I already owe The Man.
Talk about peddling backwards.
Note to self: Pull out old Tony Robbins literature. Read it. Memorize it.
Second note to self: Stop flittering. Make it happen. FORCE people to buy the art. If one place is slow; stay there. Don’t move on flitter to the next place in hopes that it will be swamped with art buyers rather than mere admirers.
If you see an artist selling wares on the street today, please, offer them a donation even if you don’t buy the art. No amount is insulting…Well, give at least a dollar, wouldya?
Inertia and temporary defeat suck.

Shallow Eyes

29 May

aes·thet·ic  1.pertaining to a sense of the beautiful or to the science of aesthetics.  2.having a sense of the beautiful; characterized by a love of beauty.   3.pertaining to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectuality.

I have SUCH a love of beautiful things and I try really, really hard not to seem or be shallow but, gosh, it just happens. It’s like having a fear of the sight of blood or not being able to stomach even a glimpse of those surgeries on The Learning Channel.                                                                                                                                                                                       Since this is a confession room and it’s deliciously anonymous I have to say that I don’t like feet. Well, yes, of course I love having feet. Of course. What I mean to say is that random feet rile me. Naturally summertime is an assault on my eyeballs what with all of the feet in flip-flops and open-toed shoes gazing back at me in check-out lines, on sidewalks, at flea markets, etc., etc.

It’s funny, we often think our pet peeves, our hangups, our nuances are so solitary but really they’re not. After all, there is nothing new under the sun. There are no new ideas, really. No original thoughts. Everything at some point has been thought about by someone else at some point. Except in extremely rare cases. But whenever I find myself recoiling at people’s gnarled toes or black toenails or exposed gargantuan bunions, sure I feel shallow and petty and, well, shallow but then I’ll read something on Postsecret and realize I’m not so unique in my weird thoughts after all.

“Rejection” Letters & Other Doldrums

28 May

So I wrote a book about the working life, particularly in corporate America, in 2007 and I pulled it out and re-edited it for the umpteenth time this past winter while snowed in and I sent another round of query letters out to literary agents. Within days I started receiving the dreaded rejection letters…

Sorry, but this doesn’t sound like something I would represent at this time. Keep trying!

We regret to inform you that we are only receiving submissions from published authors at this time.

Our agency is currently saddled with current authors.

Etc. etc.

But get this: I know the book is delicious. I do. And no, I’m not one of those writers who merely thinks that they’re a good writer. I mean, for crying out loud, I’ve won awards for my writing since the ’80’s when I was a teenager. I was always the student that the teacher would read work from. I was placed in an advanced writing class. I was writing manuscripts in class while my classmates would fight over whose turn it was to read the next installment during biology class. So I know I’m not fooling myself. (And I don’t usually toot my own horn.) People say find what you love to do and you’ll never “work” again. Well, I’M TRYING OVER HERE. 

Seriously, this is how people end up stuck in cubicles for decades.

I saw an interview with the author of the bestselling book The Help and she initially received, like, 50+ rejection letters. Not to mention the Chicken Soup for the Soul series that received, like, 1,000 rejections. There are gobs of stories like this. But dang, I’m two seconds away from stalking literary agents on the streets of NY. I’ll wear a flower in my hair so they’ll know I’m just a harmless writer desperate for a reading.

The thing about query letters is it’s your one shot.  If  the agents don’t get goose bumps from your query letter, you’re fried eggs. If I rewrite my query one more time I just may plotz. Self-publishing I’m just not interested in at this juncture for several strategic reasons.

The one good thing about writing is you can do it as you grow older. It has nothing to do with your looks, your weight, your location or your age.  I can be 80 still churning out books. Hey, don’t laugh…Maya Angelou does it.

I press on.

Small Confession

27 May

Though I am mostly/primarily a right brain(er) I wish that I was a tad more–ok, a lot more–left brain so that I could contribute to the dire need the U.S. has for math/science scholars in order to compete globally.  I mean, we need more than one Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. And speaking of which, where is our current Einstein? We haven’t had one since Albert. 

Sure, I dig, cherish, even honor the artist in me, the writer, the right brain weirdo that I’ve become, but gosh, I wish I was better equipped in the science world.  Oh boy.   There’s nothing like an entire generation of kids falling behind THE WORLD with their guitar hero slash StayStation slash cell phone obsession slash everything that keeps them from learning global skills. 

I think I’ll start brushing my teeth with my opposite hand.