Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Please Do Not Fall Down Dead

I know that two posts in one day after weeks of inattention may actually cause mental harm to those of you who follow me. Writing that sentence is really funny to me because even at my slowest, I still wrote every four or five days which is pretty average for the blogs I read. Anyway, I had an epiphany this week about my posting. I was writing more often in the beginning because I was just blogging whatever came into my head. After I started in with the childhood and work stories, I somehow began to think that if I didn't have a story to write, I shouldn't blog anything. Then I was so pleased with my hide and seek stories I began to think I couldn't write a story unless I thought it was going to be as entertaining. Of course we also had the fiction spurt and which led me to feeling guilty about posting anything other than the end of that story.

All in all, I kind of forgot that this blog is really only here to entertain myself. I guess I got intimidated when I found out others actually enjoyed my writing as well. I wanted people to read my blog but I guess I didn't actually expect more than the obligatory glance. Also, I sort of have a problem finishing things. Someone once said I had a fear of failure, but that isn't really it. I am afraid of not finishing something. My personality type is a dreamer. I come up with tons of ideas that I get really excited about, but once the project is started and it becomes time to focus on the details, I get bored and abandon whatever I am working on.

This is not a problem for me. I am all about immediate gratification. When I do something it is to enjoy the process. I don't actually care about the finished product, I just want to have some fun for the moment. This has been a problem for countless friends in my life who get frustrated with my lack of success. They don't see the fun in just doing something. They are all about goals and achievement. That has never been my way.

Take school. I love learning. I always have. When I was in elementary school the goal was to learn and grades revolved more around tests than homework. Homework was pretty much short and sweet. I still never did it and that was what my grades reflected all of my academic career. The more homework was assigned and valued, the lower my grades dropped. I was lucky to graduate with a barely C average. This frustrated my parents and teachers because they knew I was smart enough and aced all my tests. It frustrated me that they didn't see how unfair their grading was. If the point was to learn the subject matter, then I should have been able to take the tests and leave the homework be. In the fifth grade, I remember getting into an argument with my math teacher that changed my opinion of school forever.

I asked him what the point of homework was. I wasn't being insolent, I was seriously confused about the whole concept. Fifth grade is when I stopped getting straight A's and school became a reason I got grounded instead of a fun place to learn. We had just been given review homework which was always triple the normal homework as it contained problems from the everything we had studied up to that stage. He told me that the point was to practice what we learned so we could pass the upcoming test. I got excited thinking about the idea and suggested that if I was able to learn it, I shouldn't have to do the homework to practice. He, of course, disagreed and laughed saying there was no way that I could have remembered everything. This pissed me off.

I was one of the best in class. Math was always my best subject. It just makes sense to me. I didn't just memorize math problems and shortcuts, I understood the concepts. So, I challenged him and told him to give me the test right then and if I even got one wrong, I would do the homework, but if I got 100% then I could be let off the hook. He immediately looked nervous. I assume it was at this point that he remembered that I never did homework which meant I always took the tests without practice and rarely missed a problem. That conversation ended quickly and I was given some sort of "because I said so" answer. From that point forward I looked at homework as a joke.

Wow, that took a meandering bend. I can't even follow my own train of thought except to say when I am doing something as a distraction or to entertain myself I have no problems. When I see that there is a goal to be reached I get nervous. I focus so much on the distance between me and the end, I start to worry that I will even want to finish. I add up all the pieces that will have to be completed and instead of looking at next step I worry about the one thing in the distance future that I may not be able to do. Then I decide to give up before I even start. For me it is easier to give up in the beginning rather than be ashamed of one more goal that I didn't accomplish.

We all have these voices in our heads. They say different things, but the end result is the same. We start trying to look at ourselves from other people's perspectives and expectations. Instead of just being ourselves, we worry about appearing foolish and ignore the different, unique parts of ourselves that drew people to us in the first place. It is natural and easy to make this mistake. I think I got my perspective back, but I can't say I won't lose it again. In the meantime it is back to me prattling inanely about whatever I feel like.

Oh, I remember my point. I spent about five or six hours on some of my better pieces. Which led me to think I needed to spend that much time on all of my posts. So when I would think about sitting down to write, instead of sitting at the computer and just throwing out whatever was on my mind, I would look at the clock. Having mono and being tired I would get exhausted thinking about spending that much time on one project and watch a movie instead. It may seem silly, but people do it all the time. We get caught in our habits and routines and start doing things because we should, forgetting that reading or writing or whatever fun thing we have planned isn't a task to be done. It is a hobby to be enjoyed.

The human being is an odd little duck that way.

PS, I mentioned before that I have a stat counter to let me see who is reading my blog. That may have been what commandeered my focus and made me feel like I had to perform. However it also kept me going at a point when I would have normally given up. I kept thinking that I should just give up writing because I couldn't keep up with my imaginary expectations. But I have a reader in Virginia who checks my blog every day. I can tell they are a stranger who stumbled onto my blog and kept coming back. Every time I started feeling insecure, I thought about Virgina and remembered that my writing couldn't suck that badly. So thank you, whoever you are! Please don't let my stat stalking frighten you away, I just wanted to send you a little message of appreciation.

Do You Dream in Color? Because I Dream in Cartoon.

No really. I always think my dreams can't get crazier but then they do. When I woke up, I tore out of bed and wrote this down because I was already starting to forget it. Did I get coffee first? Did I check my email? Did I even pause for a drink of water to quench my insane thirst? No. Why? Because I love you, my peeps. And letting you peek at my insanity is way more important than my welfare.

Your welcome. Just so you get the complete picture, the characters in my dream were 1980's cartoon characters running around in the real world. Only they were in cartoon format, everything else was "real." Megatron was not the new live-action version, but the old grey and black version from the Saturday morning cartoons. Got that? Good. Here we go.

The dream started with Megatron in a car chase with Barney Rubble. Barney was able to escape because he assumed Megatron was looking for one of the balls that he had shadily obtained and collected into bags in his car. Barney threw one of the bags into the street causing the balls to scatter in every direction. While Megatron stopped to collect all the balls, Barney was able to escape.

Fred came looking for Barney because he knew that Megatron was looking for a globe. A globe Fred had in his possession. Fred found Barney in the house and told him what was going on. Barney looked at Fred and said, "Well why didn't you say so? I know how we can escape." Apparently Barney had been collecting balls for some time. They went to grab all the remaining balls out of Barney’s car and hidden throughout the house.

Then the dream cut away to Megatron flying over the city. Using his sensors he was able to find Fred and Barney. When he got there, they both ran out of the house in different directions. Megatron started chasing Barney. That is when Barney opened the duffle bag he was carrying and swung it around him in a circle. Out of his bag came flying hundreds of medium size globe printed playground balls that ricochet in every direction. Megatron drove in and grabbed one but immediately dropped it. Suddenly the view zoomed in on his hand and to see it dripping with paint. Barney and Fred had taken Barney’s collection of balls and painted them all to look like globes.

Incensed Megatron went after Barney, but hearing a noise turned to see another globe rolling down the street. He picked up that globe, which was heavier than the others, and flew off into the night. Barney ran down a few blocks and jumped into Fred’s car (Which was the same car he drives in the cartoon so this time the car was a cartoon, but the previous cars were not.) As they drove off into the night, one more globe popped out of Fred’s exhaust pipe. Fred had been driving around town shooting painted bowling balls out of his tail pipe to distract Megatron. Unfortunately Megatron realized what was going on and flew over to chase the two down in Fred’s car.

In a panic, Barney reached into the glove box; pulled out a small, marble-sized globe; and threw it out the car behind him. Fred screamed, "No!" and slammed on the breaks but not before Megatron saw the globe and grabbed it. Then his fist, holding the globe, disappeared into his arm only to reappear empty. Megatron laughed and flew away as Fred jumped on to his leg. Just as he was about to fly off with Fred attached, Barney threw a bag of globe painted bouncy balls the same shape onto the street. They bounced in every direction and Megatron hurried to grab them all.

Barney, feeling responsible for the whole mess, summoned his courage and ran up Megatron’s arm and disappeared inside his body when Megatron inserted his hand to store another globe. Because the dream was now taking place inside Megatron's body, the internal scene was in cartoon. He ran around inside Megatron and found the real globe. He grabbed it and started looking for an exit. Just as he was slipping back outside he saw Ravage (Soundwave’s dog) starting to transform from a tape into a dog. He grabbed a crowbar and threw it into the transforming robot jamming it in mid transformation. Unfortunately he saw the robot adjust and start to transform into Laserbeak (the bird) instead to maneuver out from under the crow bar. After Barney makes it out, he takes off down the street but Megatron shoots at Barney’s back. Fred screamed, “No!” in the distance and then I woke up.

My theory on where this dream comes from is that my poor brain was forced to repay me for the massive headache I got yesterday. Well, not for the headache, but the means I took to get rid of the headache. At about 1:00 am, I couldn't stand it anymore and finally took some aspirin. Knowing that it has caffeine and would probably keep me up all night, I also took it with some PMS medication that always relaxes me. Then I was suddenly starving so I got up and ate a piece of toast with Nutella. Once I finished that, I realized I was still hungry so I had another piece of toast with twice the Nutella. Then I tried to go to sleep. I was relaxed enough lay in bed and doze, but my brain was too awake to sleep until about 4:30 this morning. There was a lot more to the beginning of the dream, but it was one of those where you start to forget everything the minute you wake up. The only thing I can remember was being teamed up with someone else for some sort of contest presentation and then Megatron.

This is how movies like Space Jam get created. Don't look for this to be a movie any time soon as I am pretty sure Hannah Barbara still owns the rights to The Flinstones while someone else owns Transformers. I am too tired right now to look up who. I usually look up the specific items in an online dream dictionary to see what it all means. I think I'll pass on this one. I don't think I really want to know.

When I was editing this I realized I accidentally wrote, "Using his censors he was able to find Fred and Barney." All of a sudden I got a vision of Megatron flying over the city hearing a series of bleeping and then seeing a house covered in little black out bars. Maybe I am still asleep.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Ack! and Am I the Only Person of My Generation That Likes MASH?

OK, folks here is the new procrastination deal. My internet has been screwy. And when I say "my" internet, I mean the person whose signal I borrow from has been screwy. So I have access and then I don't. Being that I haven't got a steady income, I have yet to fork over the money for my own connection. I never need it when I am working, and can't afford it when I am not.

Since this person is so technically unsavvy as to have an unsecured wireless signal in the heart of downtown Denver, I don't know when the situation will be righted. It usually takes a few days. Right now I have somehow managed to slip around the provider's website log in page. I have never been able to do that before and am not sure how I am doing it now. My computer is showing that I only have local access, meaning I am connected to their access point but not to the internet. And yet here I am.

This really is just another excuse. Multiple times I have thought to myself that I could just write up my blog entries and post them as I have access. But then the credits roll from the episode of MASH I am watching and I key up the next episode instead of opening Word. Why is it that everyone my age hates MASH? The most common answer I get is that their parents watched it relentlessly when they were kids which forced them to hate the show. That doesn't really make sense to me since my parents watched the show relentlessly and I love it as in I own the entire series on DVD love it. My brothers are the same way.

Hawkeye Pierce had an intense influence over how I see the world today. As I watch the shows again, I learn a lot from Colonel Potter. I don't know. I just don't see what is to hate. I still think it is the only show that actually portrays real human characters. The good guys aren't all good and the bad guys aren't all bad. It is just a bunch of people trying to get by in a crappy situation. They fail and succeed and sometimes their failures are intentional while their successes are are accidental. It is the only show where "no good deed goes unpunished." Life isn't about us or what we do. Crap happens on a regular basis regardless of how good we are or what choices we make. Often it is the best of us who get hurt the worst and the villains who end up in charge.

As humans we tend to think the world revolves around us when in reality we are hanging on by a slim thread as it rotates on its own axis. In life I don't get a pat on the head every time I do the right thing. If being good to others was easy everyone would do it. But it isn't easy, it entails unheralded sacrifices that we make because we know what is right. Sometimes we have to set our shoulders; take a deep breath; and brace ourselves for the repercussions of standing up with integrity. Mostly we just stumble along tripping over others while trying not to make too much of a mess.

The important thing is to grab hold of those others and help them along while we try to make our way. And if all else fails, laugh. I have yet to see another show where the characters laugh so hard you can't tell if it is great acting or the actors themselves unable to control their hilarity. They have the same gunshot burst of guffaws that I often embarrass myself with. Maybe that's where I learned to laugh loud and let the unexpected levity break through. Life is weird. There is always something inane to discover and revel in if you just look. These are the things I learned from MASH.

Why would you hate that? I just don't get it. But I plan on doing as much research as possible to figure it out. So please forgive me for a while longer. I have come to see that I am exhausted from trying to do too much and need to recharge. I seem to keep forgetting that I am sick and am allowed to lie about. I am going to shut down for a while; watch all 11 seasons of MASH; and try to recuperate. It has been kind of nice not being tied to my computer 16 hours a day just because it is within reach. My mom is going to be here next Thursday for almost two weeks and I have no idea what my posting will be like at that time either.

Since we get a little goofy and drunk off of each other's company, it could mean more posts than usual. I can't count how many times on the phone she has told me to post about something. Since I can't post and talk on the phone at the same time, I usually get distracted and forget to write. Or later it just doesn't seem as funny. I can totally see her dictating over my shoulder while she is here. I imagine my peeps giving many raised eyebrows to their screens as they try to figure out what is so funny about whatever random insanity we decide to share. Or we will be gallivanting around town in a rented wheelchair, spending too much time decorating my ride to even consider getting on line.

I'd give even odds so we'll all just have to wait and see.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mono Is Better Than Dating. True Story.

This came in today and made me chuckle. I am hoping to finish that story up. The weather was bleak last week. It has been mostly overcast and we even had some snow. I think. Anyway, I have not been in a writing mood. I have been in a crawl-in-a-hole-type mood. I was tired and crabby and no matter how often I remind myself the weather makes me blue, I can't seem to accept it. Then the sun comes out, it is beautiful and I feel happy. Only then can I see that life isn't any different and the clouds were the only thing keeping me down.

I did have a dream last night. I only remember pieces of it, and it is the type that randomly switches reality so it may not make much sense.

I was hanging out with my mom in Denver waiting for somebody to come out of a building. I started noticing that my nails were all ragged and my clothes were looking dumpy. We had been hanging out all day, but we were supposed to have a coffee date at that time. I told my mom I wanted to go home and "freshen up" and would meet her at the coffee shop, which was only a couple of blocks away. Going home meant that I was going to make myself late when I was already there. And even though she said it was ok, I wondered if that would irritate her as it was irritating me.

The next thing I knew I was in a car at a stoplight waiting to turn right. The line was crazy long and as I waited, I noticed that Kyra Sedgwick was in the middle of the intersection on a stage standing behind a podium. Actually it was Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson, her character from The Closer. She was talking to the cop in the car in front of me. I knew he was a cop because of his uniform even though he was not in a police car. She was asking him a bunch of needless questions which was causing him and everyone else to get irritated because she was holding up traffic. Somehow she got him to announce his name. All of a sudden there were lights and he was being pulled over. I seemed to understand that she tricked him into announcing his name because a warrant for arrest couldn't be served until a perpetrator had been ID'd. (How do you spell ID'd?) Finally the traffic started to move and she apologized to everyone gathered. Everyone included the traffic and a bunch of obviously rich and famous people seated behind a table that ran the length of the block I was turning on to.

As I turned, I found myself no longer in my car but sliding along the white tablecloth bumping into everything on the table. As I was sliding by I heard Brenda say, "I apologize especially to you nice folks who are here for the ceremony, which is made evident by your beautiful and well made dresses. Like you there in your beautifully colored, um, black dress. Would ya'll mind telling me where you got your lovely dresses? I have an event to attend next week and I can't seem to find a gown anywhere."

And then I woke up. I made my bed and discovered another woman's ring between the mattresses. Which you would think would ruin my day, but it just reminded me how much better off I am without my lying, cheating ex-boyfriend. Even being dead on a couch with mono is better than life with him. So that cheered me up.

How was your day?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Hiding Isn't Passive When You Are a Ninja - Part II

Part I is here.

Trying to keep from berating herself for being an idiot, she reminded her inner critic that this was the first night the air conditioning had been on in the building. She had not lived there the previous summer and had no way of knowing that the air would cause the paper to rustle like that.

Wanting to blame someone she stirred up some fake righteous indignation against the paperboy. Or man. Or woman. As she made coffee, she imagined calling the paper and demanding that her subscription be canceled and a refund issued immediately. After the first few slugs of coffee entered her system, she realized she probably did not need to add caffeine to the adrenaline.

As she started to see the humor of the situation, her coping mechanism kicked in with a few self-mocking observations. She began to laugh at herself. Maybe she did have every right to be afraid of an unknown noise. But that could not account for her total lack of clarity that caused her to fling the door open with only her wits to defend herself. Considering her witless behavior, she calculated the odds of her intelligence against an attacker and estimated them to be a gazillion to one. She thought no more about it as she went about getting ready for work. On her way to the bus stop, she started to feel the creeping paranoia, but was able to dismiss it immediately because of the lingering embarrassment. Besides the sun was bright enough to shoo away any negative thoughts.

During her twenty minute bus ride, she decided the story was too funny not to share. One of her coworkers an older friend who couldn't help playing mother would be upset. But she was positive she could spin the tale well enough that mocking herself would ease any lectures by showing she realized how stupid she had been. Riding the wave of inspired fact twisting, she got excited as she rehearsed retelling the adventure in her head. It all went according to plan.

She made it sound courageous and idiotic at the same time; everyone was too busy laughing to think much about it. Starting the work day off with a good laugh, made the rest of the day breeze by without incident. At 4:45 the office rustled with the sound of everyone gathering their things in preparation for the coming of 5:00. Giving in to her motherly concern, her coworker asked if her key chain with mace was quickly accessible. She also managed to hint about hanging one next to the door so she would always have a weapon next to the door. Jane said it was a great idea and knew that there would be a can of mace on her desk the next morning that her friend “just happened to come across.” Feeling comfortably warmed by the concern, she headed home again.

The warmth waned as she started thinking about what to prepare for dinner. She enjoyed cooking, but cooking for one was more difficult than cooking for four. Again, she felt a softening to the idea of searching for a mate. It wasn't that she was against dating or marriage. She just didn't want to be someone who went looking for a relationship out of desperation. Determined to not let such a little thing as cooking push her towards a marriage of convenience, she decided on tilapia. She could whip that up in a matter of minutes. She had made the recipe many times and had written out the calculations for a serving of one. Turning the corner onto her street, she felt again like she was being watched. Deciding she had better learn to control her crazy before crazy controlled her; she banished the unwanted thoughts from her consciousness and headed home for a much needed, uneventful evening.

Again waking in a panic to the sound of her newspaper, she laughed at her body's response to something that had already been identified as harmless. Enjoying a personal consideration about the conscious verses unconscious, she was able to get ready in a good mood. At least the adrenaline was good for getting going. She wondered if she could find an alarm clock that would play spooky sounds instead of soothing sounds to recreate the effect every morning. Dismissing it as pointless because invariably she would become used to being scared awake and therefore no longer scared awake, she left for work.

As she approached the creeptastic corner, she decided to own her fear and rename the intersection. Her internal monologue voice switched to a deeper more authoritative sound and decreed to all personalities residing within the boundaries of Jane's physical being that the intersection would now be addressed as the corner where paranoia meets fear. Or CWPMF for short. Trying to decide how that anagram would be pronounced, she forgot she was waiting for the bus and jumped when it pulled up in front of her. Grinning sheepishly at the driver, she showed her bus pass and headed toward her section on the bus.

I have a massive headache today but wanted to post this in hopes that it will pressure me to finish the story. I hope I am not delusional when remembering I have already proof read and edited this.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Establishing Context for Plan B

My cousin sent me an email today asking how the interview went, which reminded me that there are people on here who are actually reading this and might want to know. She also told me that if my mom, her aunt, was going to be driving me around in a wheelchair, I should probably get a helmet. And seriously consider a safety belt as well.

The benefits meeting went really well. My claims agent said it was going smoothly, they just needed more information from my doctor. They try to finish the approval process within 30 days of the request being submitted. That would have been two weeks ago. It will all depend on how quickly my doctor responds.

The good news is that they pay 60% of my what I was making before I got sick. Also, they have an incentive program to encourage me to work as much as I can. I had been told that I could only receive a total of 60% of my salary and they would subtract whatever part time hours I worked from the total benefits I received. In actuality, I can get paid up to 40% of my previous salary with part time hours before it affects my benefits. Basically, they just don't want me getting over 100% of what I was making before with benefits and paychecks combined. This is awesome. It totally means I will be able to pay my bills and not have to sell my condo.

On a side note, the interview was totally random and insane. Since it went over my 20 minute limit of being able to hold normal together, she probably got more information than she bargained for. I'll give you a couple of highlights. She asked me about my medications and what I was taking them for. Then she asked if I was being treated for any other illnesses. I told her no. Later when she asked how much I weighed, I hemmed and hawed for a minute before I guessed. I told her I had lost a few pounds with the mono and wasn't really sure. This started a whole other line of questioning about my eating habits and lack of appetite. I explained to her that I had hypoglycemia so I was pretty careful about eating whether I wanted to or not.

Suddenly alarm bells went off in my head and I blurted out that I hadn't mentioned I had hypoglycemia earlier when she asked about other illnesses because I wasn't actually being treated for it. I wasn't trying to hide it or anything. Then I felt weird and told her I had been watching a ton of crime dramas since I had been sick. So I was feeling pressured to make sure she had all the details and it didn't look like I had been hiding anything. She laughed and said that she loved watching those too and totally understood.

Later in the conversation I started rambling about my current doctor and how he is new and only has seen me since I've had mono. She said she would pull all my records from my old doctor as well as my new one. I got strangely excited and my response was overly enthusiastic. Hearing her pause, I explained that I never get sick and if they had all my old records they would be able to see that as well. That's when I started giving full disclosure about my relationship with my current doctor. Realizing I might be sounding suspicious, I decided to jokingly remind her about the crime drama influence. So I lowered my voice and loudly whispered, "The voices from all the crime shows are insisting I tell you everything." She giggled nervously and soon after the interview was over.

I'm betting if the whole mono claim gets denied, I can probably try again on the grounds of insanity.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I May Legally Be Disabled by Mono

Seriously! My employer is helping me apply for long term disability. It is one of my benefits so I don't feel bad about that. Also, I have been sick for 4 1/2 months and have bills to pay. It was just weird to put on the application Mononucleosis in answer to my diagnosis. I have to admit I am not all that confident in getting approved. The insurance company called me on Friday to set up an interview on Monday, so we'll see. I am really lucky that my employer is so supportive. My HR Director not only sent me all the information and signed me up before she even notified me, she also wrote a letter to the insurance company explaining the entire situation to ensure I receive benefits. So yeah, I might be collecting disability.

On top of that, my mom announced that I needed to find a wheelchair for her visit. Her favorite thing about coming to visit me is that we walk everywhere. I don't have a car, so my favorite thing about her visiting is that she walks with me everywhere to run errands. This means I have a whole other person to help me transport groceries and other items. Up until now, I just assumed that I would be better by then. Now, I am pretty sure that isn't going to happen. Even if it does, I am so out of shape from being on bedrest for so long, I won't be able to keep up with her. But a wheelchair?

She says if it is too embarrassing, that I don't have to do it. The sad thing is that is the only thing that would keep me from doing it. I hate to admit it but I am worried about what other people will think. She said we should look at it as a learning experience. We'll be able to see the world from a different perspective. I totally think she is right. I am also worried about depending on my mom pushing me around. I have talked before about my inability to ask for and accept help from others. This would be the ultimate blow to my independence. Which isn't necessarily bad. I think I am too proud and it gets me into trouble. My final comment was that if I find a wheelchair before she gets here then I will do it.

My life is so surreal these days. Like I am living in a dream. I can't even really describe it to people because it seems I am observing me from the outside. The good news is that it makes me see everything differently. I did suddenly have an idea to rent out my place instead of selling it. That way I could get someone else to pay the mortgage, I could move to a smaller place and pay less rent. Then, when I am back on my feet and able to take the responsibility back on, I could just move back into my condo. I don't know how that will work. I am really hoping the disability will give me some breathing room to put off making any decisions. The sad thing is either way, I would have to move. I have no idea how to make that happen considering I can barely move from my bed to the couch and back everyday. So the solution is a problem in itself. I'm just not going to think about it now.

First things first, get disability and find a wheelchair. When did I turn 90?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Fiction Is Not My Preferred Style

The last fiction story I wrote was about thirteen years ago. I haven't yet found my voice, but I feel like I am getting close. It is harder for me to write fiction because I am more telling the story to myself. I am so curious to see where the train of thought is leading, I don't pay attention to the peripherals and leave out important transitions. I understand what I am trying to say so I forget to look for things that might confuse the average person who is not inside my head. I prefer to jump from action to action rather than spend time in description.

Also something people might find annoying is that I like reading books where descriptions are intentionally vague to allow the reader to create their own image. It allows me to fill in the holes with my experiences and images and makes the characters more identifiable and situations more believable. I tend to emulate this.

Normally I am trying to share a story with you, the reader, and am more contentious of making sure I explain all the details so you can get a clear picture of what I saw. All this means is that I am totally open to any suggestions or comments you may have and understand if you don't like this side of my writing. Don't worry about hurting my feelings. I am an ego maniac and if I don't like what you have to say, I will think you are wrong and ignore you rather than take offense. It is how I roll.

I actually have Part II written, but there is very little action in it. So I am holding back printing it in case I don't get to Part III. Then, I can throw it up to keep you busy until I do. This shouldn't be a very long series. I am only planning three parts. It was originally only supposed to be one story. But when I write fiction I usually only know the ending. So I start where I think the beginning should be and follow the tangents until I end up where I planned. Sometimes I start too early. If I have any dreams or memories in the mean time, I will continue to post those.

I have been very tired the last few days and again, I have been using my limited energy reserves to keep up with life. This story works well right now simply because I can write it in the evening when I am not feeling "up" and it should still flow. As I have mentioned before, if I try to write when I have no energy, I sound very terse and bitter. Since I write about real memories, I want to make sure I do my best to portray them in a positive light to keep anyone's feelings from getting hurt. Dreams, however, are fair game.

Thanks for letting me indulge in a walk outside my comfort zone. I think you will be entertained and pleasantly surprised at the very least.

Now can someone please tell me why I have suddenly started smelling lilacs in the afternoon? It happened yesterday and I was intrigued, today it is a little weird.

Hiding Isn't Passive When You Are a Ninja - Part I

Jane shivered as she turned the final corner on her walk home. Lately she hadn't been able to shake the feeling that someone was watching her. It was making her paranoid and grumpy. Living downtown was exciting and energizing for the most part. But it did have its downsides. Being single and living alone fit her independent nature. Until evenings like this when she wondered if maybe there wasn't something to be said for actively finding a guy to settle down with.

"Grrrrrr," she said making a rumbling sound low in her throat. It didn't sound very intimidating to anyone who may have heard it; it was more like a purr than a growl. The sound reverberated more loudly in her head, making her feel more like ninja than a damsel. Except that ninjas are stealthy and quiet. Noises were more for pirates. She threw her shoulders back and slowed her naturally quick gait to a bouncing jaunt. She hoped she looked confident, pleasantly comfortable in her neighborhood as she strolled home. Failing that, she hoped it at least made her look mentally disabled.

She started to giggle as she remembered the story her friend, a fellow public transportation fan, once told her. Every day on her way to work Kaybee would share the bus with a gorgeous girl who was well put together. This girl always had a wide circle of empty seats surrounding her. Apparently her rocking back and forth while muttering to herself intimidated even the shadiest looking character on the scariest bus route. Kaybee always theorized that the girl was actually fine, but acted like that on the bus to discourage attention. Single women have ways of looking scarier than they could ever possibly be. Like the king snake, hoping appearances will fool predators into thinking they are the deadly coral snake instead of a harmless fake. Thankfully there are no magic rhymes to allow people to distinguish between someone who is mentally unstable from someone who just wants to keep people at bay. Jane became completely distracted from any fears by composing rhymes. "Rock and then sing, death she might bring. Sing before rock, she will freeze in shock." "Laughing at the unknown, your mind will be blown. Knowingly laughing, safe for attacking." By the time she reached her apartment building, she had forgotten her sixth sense had been acting up. In the safety of her snug studio she laughed off her suspicions as silly and unrealistic. Still she checked her deadbolt three times before retiring for the night which was twice more than she normally would. But she had lived so long on her own, she had become and expert at compartmentalizing her fears in favor of sleep.

Bolting upright at 5:00 am with a gasp, she awoke from a deep slumber. Every hair was standing on end and her skin prickled with the rush of adrenaline that pushed through her veins. Catching her breath, she tried to remember her dream so she could confront the fictional fear and calm her subconscious. She able to vaguely recall a TV chef conducting a contest in her Aunt's kitchen, but nothing seemed scary about that.

The whispering, rustling sound was barely audible, but horribly out of place. Suddenly she knew it wasn't her dream that had awakened her in a state of panic. Not being able to identify what it was, her logical side tried to preach reason. Unfortunately it was trying to debate against intuition that seemed to scream at her when she realized it was emanating from just outside her door. She froze, unable decide whether the sound was harmless or threatening. Forcing her breathing to slow so she could hear over her heart thumping in her chest, she recognized the sound. This did nothing to soothe her fears as she realized it was the sound of paper rustling. Someone was standing outside her door reading her newspaper. Were they waiting for her?

It was only another thirty minutes before her alarm went off starting her morning routine. After putting on a robe, the first thing she did every morning was open her door and grab her paper. She reached for her cell phone, wanting to call someone. Anyone. But the terror of being heard cautioned against it. Summoning up her courage, she silently crept up past the kitchen area to the entryway being careful to avoid making shadows under the door in case the mystery person was looking. Suddenly she realized that now she was acting like a ninja and her mind wandered into thinking about how comfortable it would be to sleep in one of those suits. The non sequitur nearly forced a hysterical laugh. Stopping, she mentally shook herself into focus before continuing forward. Her previous perception of the almost too small studio was altered forever. The eight feet to the door felt like a mile. She tried to sink into the wall next to her door and almost fell trying to look through the peephole from an awkward side approach. No one was there. Still the rustling continued. Deciding she would rather face her horrible fate than spend one more minute in suspense she unlocked the deadbolt and flung the door open. The very second the door was unlocked, she wondered why she didn't grab a knife from the counter on her journey to the door. Defenseless, she stood looking. At nothing. As her eyes drifted downward, she watched the top few pages of the paper rise and fall to the current of the hallway air conditioner.

Coming EVENTUALLY, Part 2

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Anticipation Mounts

I have must have a twelve year old boy living inside me. Why do I find the word mount to be so snicker inducing?

I have been horribly absent from my blog these days. However, I promise to make it up to you soon. I am working on a story that will probably take you five days to read and allowing me to slack off, er, decide what direction I want to take from there. I am working on it tonight, but it ended up being much longer than I anticipated and I will probably have to forgo writing the ending and go to bed.

To give you a taste, it includes references to ninjas, pirates and maces, OH BOY!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Coping with Laughter Runs in the Family

This memory popped into my head today. My dad's father was living in a nursing home after having his leg amputated. One day, while my aunt was visiting, a nurse came in and told him it was time for her to clip his toenails. He looked at her while pointing to his prosthetic leg and said, "All right. But be careful. Look what happened the last time." The nurse was visibly shocked, but my aunt burst out laughing.

I miss that man!

On another note, my mom will be out here this month to visit me. She is going to help me clean the condo and do minor repairs to help get it ready in case I do decide to sell. One of the things we had talked about was turning my guest bedroom into a craft room/office. I hate how the queen size mattress takes up most of the room when it is only used four or five times a year. She has offered to build me a murphy bed type structure to house it in during non-visiting times. When we were talking about it earlier, I realized that will solve one of my pending dilemmas in selling my home.

I wanted to rent an apartment to save money and pay off my debt. However, since I don't want to leave downtown, it was becoming apparent that rent was not going to be much cheaper than a mortgage. I have lived in a studio sized place before and hated the bed being out in the open. Plus, now that I have graduated to a grown-up sized bed (queen instead of twin), I was worried about it taking up the whole room so I was stuck looking at pricey, ugly one-bedrooms. With this new contraption, I wouldn't have to worry about it and can start looking again at all the cute, urban studios I had to reject out of hand simply because of their size.

It is amazing to me how one little thing can change my outlook on everything. All of a sudden, I am excited and looking forward to selling. It isn't that I don't want to own, but I am looking forward to losing this financial burden right now. Also, it does reopen the possibility of still owning, but just downsizing. I can probably buy a place for half of what I own now. I was so depressed by what I thought I was facing, it was kind of bringing me down. Now I am can't wait to get out there and see what I can find.

That is all for today!