Ok Little Miss Reluctant Muse, Let’s Dance

  • 1 Comment

Writer’s block. It’s on me again.

Who or what should I blame? My brain overburdened by a global job and a lot of work? My blabbermouthing about how easy I could flow words to a friend over happy hour drinks last October? Fatigue?

Or is it simply the ebb and flow of creativity? Today the stream runs strong. Tomorrow it’s drier than the Rio Grande in July.

I don’t know but I’m frustrated all to heck by the lack of rhythm and flow to my writing. I’ve still produced some stuff but lately it feels labored.

Today I was reading back posts and I actually envied myself for how easy and effortless it seemed even just a year ago.

The more I feel frustrated, the less likely The Muse wants to play.

Ok, so let’s just not take anything very seriously at all.

Back to free form, free association. It’s a self-indulgent exercise. And I dig it.

I’m playing the Unconscious Mutterings game this week.

Revealing!


  1. Tenure ::

    That thing that all professors want, right? Means you are all dug in there like a tick and ya ain’t going anywhere. Mainly it’s a good thing but I gotta be honest, there are some rather tenured folks in my non-academic job that really are more roadblock than firebrand. Tenure can lead to laconic in a hurry. I appreciate the guy who has been here thirty years and knows everything about everything. But dammit, a little open mindedness would really help my days go by.


  2. Baptism ::

    The other side of the coin from tenure. Yesterday I interviewed a really good candidate for my job opening. He asked what is the onboarding process. I wanted to sugar coat it but lying isn’t my style. “Um, drinking from the firehose? Baptism by fire? And other cheeky colloquialisms to say there isn’t an onboarding process.” He replied “Oh.” I said “Hey, don’t worry, you would be surrounded by really good folks. One person has been here ten years. The other person just one year. They can both give you amazing perspective.” He seemed ok with that answer. I hope so because he seems like a good candidate.


  3. Holders ::

    Right now, at this moment, my badge holder thingy that is clipped to the waistband of my jeans is digging into my side. Excuse me for a mo’….there…better. Whew.


  4. Irritation ::

    Yeah, the skin at my side, right above my hipbone is pretty irritated. A little bit of skin was pinched under the clip of my badge holder. I *hate* that. Ow.


  5. Academics ::

    There is this guy I work with who has somehow adopted me as his friend and mentor. God knows why. No, seriously, this kid has a far brighter future than I ever did. He’s working full time (and a lot of extra hours) and he’s going to school for his Master’s Degree. Good lord. While I did fairly well in the academic arena, that day I walked across the stage and took possession of an MBA, I knew there was no way in hell I would go back to college.

    That said, I often think about going to school to get an MFA. I wish I was brave enough to have gotten an MFA back when I was college. Business school just seemed like a smarter option. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time and talk myself, just a clueless kid at NMSU. I’d discuss with her that an MFA is a fine educational option. Then I’d tell her that when that one kind of cute cowboy at that one party suggests you two split a bottle of Mad Dog that you just say no and run. The hangover was simply not worth it


  6. Mug ::

    When I started working at this office, my second level boss, ie The Boss of my Boss, had this really funny, kitchy coffee mug. Something made by his kids. I always thought it was odd because it was really in contrast to his super buttoned up and uber office professional style. But he seemed to like it. Right now he’s up for a huuuuge promotion and I notice he’s swapped out the mug adorned with his kid’s artwork and “have a good day daddy” to some quiet, sedate, professional mug. It makes me kind of sad. I suppose I shouldn’t blame him for living up to expectations.

    In other mug news, when I was in England and at my company’s facility, my boss was on travel for one of the weeks I was there and he said I could sit at his desk. Well, the folks in that office enjoy tea breaks in the morning and the afternoon (so freaking civilized!!!) and they invited me to join. I didn’t have a mug and the plastic cups in the breakroom didn’t seem heat-proof, so I dug around my boss’ desk and found a mug. And I used it. All week.

    At the end of the week I carefully washed it and put it back in his drawer next to his jar of instant coffee. I put a note inside

    “Dear Boss – I used this cup all week. On Friday I scrubbed it with soap and very hot water, but it still contains the germs of a minion. Just thought you should know. –K”

    I don’t think he’s found the note yet or if he did, shook his head and threw it away. My boss is a very ramrod straight former military man with an easy going personality. Which I why I like picking on him.


  7. Charge ::

    Brrt-drrt-drrt! Chaaaaarge!


  8. Percent ::

    Where I live I have an assigned parking spot. This is like gold in the Bay Area and I’m glad to have it. Of course, it’s a narrow little spot over by the trash bins. My Jeep fits the spot but doesn’t leave me a lot of room to maneuver around the sturdy concrete pole and the rubbish bins.

    Every morning when I leave and every night when I come home somebody has left some castoff bit of stuff by the bin in the narrow space I have to walk around my car. One day a broken suitcase. Then a broken Ikea cabinet. Then a busted table. A roll of carpet. A shopping cart. A bag of old shoes. A busted rug cleaner. These are all true and accurate things left in my teeny tiny space over the past week.

    So every day I move that crap over and every day a new thing shows up. I know who is doing it, a guy just moved into the building and he’s casting off stuff. That said, I’m a hundred percent sure I’m going to kick his ass if this doesn’t stop. I hate my parking space as it is (last week a pipe busted over my spot and dripped a lot of water on my car), but I firmly believe finding his garbage in my parking spot is grounds for a sturdy steel toed bash to the shins.

    I own such a pair of boots. I’m just saying.


  9. Clears ::

    I appreciate how nice it is when one clears the broken and busted stuff from your apartment home. But I’m going to clear his kneecap off his leg right soon.


  10. Selfless ::

    Yeah. Kind of a funny word to show up now. Uh oh, there’s that non-practicing yet Catholic-upraising guilt coming on.

    Let’s see, on that commandment list there is something about not wanting on your neighbor’s spouse. And not wanting on your neighbor’s stuff. Nothing about not wanting to apply bruising retribution on your neighbor. I’m good. Right?

    Oh fine, I shall do an act of contrition, eat (beer battered) fish for my Friday lunch and think heartily about what I’ve thought about doing.






Image found in several locations on the net, but unable to find attribution. Will remove or provide attribution details at the request of the owner.



Little Old Lady (Not) From Pasadena

  • 8 Comments

If it happens once, it’s an anomaly.

Twice, it’s a curiosity.

Three times, and it earns a blog post.

— Karen’s philosophy on blogging.


The first time it happened, it was a lazy Saturday morning and I was on the highway named 280 traveling in a southward direction. The Good Man and I had just destroyed a stack of pancakes up at a restaurant in Millbrae, and were headed home.

I was behind the wheel, which is rare. The Good Man usually takes the wheel and I navigate (poorly).

We whistled along and were cussing and discussing something when I rounded a curve and lo and behold, there waited a member of that exclusive club, the CHP.

Instinctively, I touched the brake pedal to slow my roll, and as I did, I looked at my speedometer to see just how bad the ticket was going to be.

Turns out, I was going the speed limit. And my touching the brakes only slowed me to under the limit.

Oh. Well. That’s curious.

The second time I was driving across the great state of Georgia and I was singing along with the 80’s on 8 station on Sirius. The rental car was a Jeep and since I drive a Jeep back home, I felt pretty damn comfy in the car. The straight six has power and the Georgia highway was open and easy, begging me to test the bounds.

As I whipped past a slower car in the right lane, just as my wheels tap-tapped over the state line into Alabama, I saw the white cruiser in the median. One of Alabama’s finest was waiting there to nab speeders as they crossed over the border.

Again, I touched my brakes. Again, I looked at the speedometer to realize I had been going three over the speed limit of 70. Hardly enough for the Alabama man to get excited enough to leave the median.

Finally, the third event was just this weekend. Again on 280, this time headed to San Jose. Again a cruiser parked by the side of the road with a LIDAR gun aimed out the window. Again the brake pedal. Again, I was already in the legal zone.

What, exactly, has happened to me?

Once upon a time, I was quite a speed demon.

I was the girl who used to test what going 100mph felt like on the roads between El Paso and Carlsbad. (sssh, don’t tell my Mom)

I am the girl who used to get in trouble with her folks every time I came home from college because they would time me and I always arrived too early. (You’d think I would have figured it out and taken a lunch break somewhere to eat up some time)

This is the same chick that likes to race Mercedes up a hill. (My Jeep has pulling power, donchaknow).

And now I’m little Miss Goes The Speed Limit? Miss Little Old Lady Who Only Drives The Car To Church On Sunday? Little Miss Law Abider?

Evidently so.

Except for one red light infraction two years ago on a no good, very bad day.

Suddenly going the speed limit seems, mostly, like the right pace for me.

This depresses me a little bit. But just a little.

Soon I’ll invest in an elongated sedan and I’ll use the cruise control and I’ll huff and puff about all those damn kids driving too fast.

*sigh*







Image from the Gilroy Dispatch



Self Help Advice From a 2 year old

  • 5 Comments

Too funny not to share.

And…..never stop seizing stuff.

_________________

Originally from the JasonGood365 webpage and reprinted in Huffington Post.


SELF HELP ADVICE FROM A 2 YEAR OLD.


1. Challenge yourself every day. Try climbing the stairs carrying two soccer balls while wearing your father’s shoes. Remember, failure IS an option.


2. De-clutter! Start by throwing all your dishes in the garbage. After that I suggest toothbrushes and important paper work.


3. Pee on the floor and stomp in it like a puddle. You’ll be shocked how much better you feel.


4. Whether the glass is half empty or half full is irrelevant if you dump it out on the sofa. You’re welcome.


5. If you’re feeling aggressive, or just bored, scream in a cat’s face.


6. Don’t ever be afraid to hand someone an ice cube while they’re on the toilet. That stuff is cold. You don’t have to be in pain!


7. Socks are poison. Trust me, don’t wear them! Happiness will soon follow!


8. Pound on a computer keyboard like Jerry Lee Lewis playing the piano. Feel better? I thought so. Great Balls of Fire!


9. If you fall down, stay down. Someone will pick you up eventually.


10. Quick thrills fuel the heart. Have you learned to delete things off the DVR yet? DO IT. It’s AwWwWwEsOmE.


11. Seize the day and the night and the middle of the night and the early morning. Seize everything, y’all! Never stop seizing stuff.


12. Tired of looking at yourself in the mirror? So was I until I met my friend permanent marker. FACE TATTOOS ARE RAD.


13. This might be a tough one, but you gotta trust me: Take a crap in the tub. It’s surreal.


14. Live in the moment because there is nothing else. Seriously, there isn’t. Not that I’m aware of at least.


15. If you’re gonna run, do it at top speed, man. Life is too short to walk in the mall.


16. I’ve seen God, and his name is iPad. Let us pray.






Misspelled, in Any Language

  • 1 Comment

Ok, I gotta vent out a beef I have with the internet.

While it’s a wild and wonderful place, it’s also hell on the English language.

Ok, let me step back, I do enjoy a good LOL Speak as much as the next guy.

But that’s all in jest, right? I like to torture the English language once in a while myself. I love words and putting them together in different ways and seeing what happens.

I can make fun of the language because I respect it so much.

Here’s the cranky part…over the past week, I’ve seen five, yes honestly five different misapplications of the word voilà.

Now, someone might quibble with me that the word voilà is French and not English so what’s the big deal? Who cares if it gets misued?

I do.

Like avant-guarde, bon voyage, cul-de-sac, critique, and faux pas before it, the word voilà has been adopted into the English language.

And so when I see it spelled wah la, walla, wall ah, waalaa, whala and other variations, I end up grinding my back molars into dust.*

I don’t know why, of all the poor grammar and misspellings out there in the wild web, this one bothers me so much. But it does.

So for those who wish to use the word voilà but can’t seem to sort the spelling and that little accent thing over the a, might I suggest the following internet meme words for your use:

Bam
Badabing!
Blammo
Bazinga
(ok, moving out of b expressions….)
Shazam
Ta-da
Zoiks

And many others. Or hell, make something up. I respect something made up so much more than a gross misspelling of an innocent word.

Suffer the little letters, come unto correctly spelled words.






*A phrase liberally borrowed from my rock star cousin and used without his permission



Same Venue, Different View

  • No Comments

Over the weekend I got together with a longtime dear friend for a much needed girl’s weekend.

My friend is the full time mom of a very happy and rambunctious toddler, so she needed a minute to herself to remember the not-mom side of her life.

On our weekend away, we walked a well worn path. Over the decade we’ve been pals, one of our favorite things is to grab a room at a really high end hotel, get tickets to a concert at the outdoor Shoreline Amphitheater, and have a raucous time.

To be honest, we haven’t done this for several years. I got married, then she got married, then she gave birth and suddenly life and all that goes with it intervened.

We were both glad to reconvene and return to our tradition. It bears noting, however, that on this weekend things were markedly different than in the past.

Where once we talked of work, our insane boss (we used to work in the same team), worries about saving enough money to support being a single gal, our dating life both good and bad, and the latest fashion available…

This weekend we talked of her being a mom, of how work is still important but takes a backseat to what matters in life, how to save enough money to retire on, our husbands, and the latest styles of magnifying reader glasses available and where to buy them.

We asked each other if it is inevitable to end up with the same physical attributes of our mother, no matter how hard we try. We lamented the years that have passed so quickly.

Back in the day after we’d gotten caught up, we’d start at the hotel bar, move on to a local Mexican restaurant with a wide array of tequila, then go to the concert venue grabbing beers and more fun on the way.

My friend weighs about 90 lbs on a good day, and when she drinks takes on the demeanor of a linebacker. Our friendship has been a lot about her having three to my one margarita and then bouncing off the fences.

I’ve pulled her out of girl fights, away from skeevy guys, off the venue railing, away from climbing up on the stage and I’ve literally carried her to the car more than once.

Friday, she arrived at the hotel and asked “Do you mind if we don’t drink much tonight?”

I said that was fine (and inside I felt incredibly relieved).

We ate room service, forgoing the heavily crowded restaurant of our usual mode. Then we went to see a Toby Keith show.

You know…Toby Keith used to play at the country bar Cowboy’s in Las Cruces. I used to go dancing to Toby Keith and Easy Money (when they were just known as Easy Money and no one cared who Toby Keith was) in my college years.

On Friday I read an SFGate article about celebrities that turned 50 this year.

Toby is on that list.

Seems even Toby has lost a step or two. He looks road weary and his set was pretty uninspired.

We left before the encore. As we walked out, the crowd of a billion girls in Daisy Dukes and boots pressed in around us. My friend commented, “I don’t think I’ve ever been to a show here where I wasn’t drunk. I’m suddenly very aware of my small size. How come I never worried about that before?”

I replied, “Because when you drink you’re ten feet tall.”

She laughed, then sighed. Then she said, “I miss my cub.”

I put my arm around her and we walked out of the venue together, solid on our four feet.

Later we texted our husbands to let them know we’d made it back to the hotel safely.

Then we both went to bed before midnight. Turns out that my tiny friend now snores like a longshoreman.

Things change. I guess it’s inevitable.

While sometimes I lament the past, I think we are both a lot happier today than we were back then.

Mostly.



Where once this view fired me up, now I think “what happens if there’s a fire?”


Copyright 2011, Karen Fayeth



It might also be mentioned that my magnetic powers of attracting the most sloppy drunk Hispanic cowboy in the house are still strong. If they got white boots that are too pointy and a belt that’s too long, they will find a way to find me. He was harmless and I quickly pawned him off on a gaggle of drunk girls. I bet that he’d be barfing before the encore. My friend had more faith than I did and took the after. She won the bet.


Photo taken Friday night with the Camera+ app for the iPhone.