Monthly Archives: November 2011

more punk rock than the sum of its parts


just to be clear and open, music is a soulful, historied, irrational thing for me. i’m not exactly a “purist” about any of it, whatever that means. i try to give the people what they want…or, at least let them enjoy whatever freakishly horrible mass-media taste they feel the need to express as long as they aren’t around me. as a captive be-vehicled listener, i have no criteria for the range of tunes i cruise to, other than i need to like them. in the end most of my rather large collection is rockin’, bluesy, sentimental, moody, sexy and/or staring-out-the-window-at-the-american-landscape dreamy…all subject to opinion, of course.

so i dj’ed in the car this weekend, as the solo passenger, with a driver whose musical tastes are as varied as mine and whose ears can tolerate “my music” way better than i can tolerate music outside my pretentious, picky little world. i actually brought cds, not an ipod. well, i did have an ipod, but got lost handling liner notes the way i love to do. (anachronism – lovely word.)

i may take the role a little too seriously, but i have so much freakin’ fun doing it when i’m allowed. i was a college radio dj and music manager in northeast mississippi (WMUW 88.5) back when we still played vinyl records along with only a single row of cds in a tiny crate. (it were new-fangled technolology, and played on faincy cd players that barely worked…cd players that were later stolen by my freshman advisor who then disappeared forever into a fog of radio slacker breath and intrigue.)  i went through LOTS o’ music phases (and would like to know, at what point does a succession of “phases” become a credible definition of taste?). one thing i learned is that “punk rock” means myriad things to myriad people…me? i can’t include Green Day or the Offspring (excuse me a second…vomit…back of throat…(guhlp)…shiver) and can’t exclude patsy cline or death metal.

and with this post, i establish my official and final definition of punk rock: n. pure fucking rebellion.

and in honor of all punk rockers and rebellions before me: i give you my blues-heavy, mountain roadtrip musical showcase, Thanksgiving 2011:

  1. The Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
  2. Come Dancing- The Best of the Kinks 1977-1986 (give that a listen using your “today” ears…timeless and oh so relevant)
  3. Mark Knopfler – Sailing to Philadelphia (one of the best solo projects i’ve ever heard from the classic rock world)
  4. Mazzy Star – She Hangs Brightly
  5. Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band – Trouble is (remember he was 21 when he released this record and as young as 17 as he wrote it)
  6. Girls – Broken Dreams Club
  7. Patsy Cline – Love Songs
  8. KISS – Destroyer…scored on saturday for 5 bucks at a Super Walmart in a Luray, VA! (that’s LOURaey for those of you unfamiliar with southern english. the “ray” is actually pronounced as two syllables in a grammar part i can only identify as lying somewhere between a hiatus and a diphthong.)
  9. Dinosaur Jr – Without a Sound (who i will see on the Weezer Cruise in january…plus all kinds of j. mascis solo glory…teeHEEEE. so excited)
  10. Roger Miller – King of the Road
  11. Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

eclectic. also a lovely word. comments please? all jabs, jeers, cheers and how’bouts accepted.

we have happiness on tap, plus 2 for 1 mixed drinks and metaphors


inevitably some time this week, i will feel a satisfied shrug as i watch my cup runneth over. i plan on catching all of that run-off with a mouth eager for the adult beverage foaming over the top of the glass, which, as the head disappears, we will see is but half full.

i woke this morning feeling only half full of gratitude, which is more optimistic than half empty, but is still a long enough tilt of the cup to fool me…for the physics of ice-shapes and cups to dump the emotion suddenly, unceremoniously down my gullet, over my muzzle, around the corners of my mouth and onto the leaf applique that decorates my new holiday sweatshirt.

i don’t actually own a sweatshirt with a leaf applique, but the analogy as a whole brings to mind a new holiday toast: may my clothes be half drenched in gratitude. that may remain a solo toast, completed here in my quiet, baby-free house before festivities begin outside my sister’s kitchen.

i mention all of this not to publish my “i’m grateful for….(family, fortune, love, people who bring booze as their hostess gift, mute relatives who do dishes before heading back to their hotel rooms on their unicorns…).” i do this because as soon as i opened this page, my layer of happiness and joy wiggled a little closer to the top, and like blubber, wrapped me in a blanket of warmth and promise.

so here’s me, in a hooded-snuggie of whale fat and calm, heading into the day and the holiday chaos of a major metro. here’s me, finding my gratitude first thing. i don’t even have to be that specific with myself anymore…gratitude as a notion has become a lifestyle for me, never more so than in these last couple of years.

the coming long weekend could have been…and still could be, i suppose…hard for me. it’s packed with fractured memories and a few broken dreams. the wounds they left still get warm sometimes. the healing continues. my thankfulness is healing me. it kept my heart open just a crack, until my drive and joy and love from others could swing it wide and let in the light.

just a few musings this morning, to get my head right…i’ll soon make myself late, obliviously drunk on this gratitude, until i wake up in just minutes with my usual hangover of rushing and cursing.

happy friday-colored wednesday, everyone. stay connected, stay in love with this life, stay safe and be loved.

i’m 99% ok with 99% funny, or A Room With a View


content disclaimer: these 99%s are wholely and completely unrelated to the more famous 99%s recently occupying streets and headlines

i’m having this strangely nervous, giddy weekend. there are a number of i’ve-never-done-this-before elements at play, one characteristic of which is to warp my internal age meter, distorting and disrupting the natural order of aged things.

that food is fresh. the baby is young. that is a kitten. i’m a grown woman.

the natural, obvious order of aged things.

inside this scrambled up noodle, and connected to this dramatically sentimental heart, is my inner thirteen year-old. this weekend, the inner thirteen year-old is meeting the outwardly mature and composed 20-something daughter of the man this 39-year old dates. that man is also of an obscure age, so our peter pan and action figure selves live in an ageless physics all their own, disturbed now by weird things like his kid being old enough to have my kid.

in the natural world, my 39 year-old self feels young and looks young (thanks to mom, dad, DNA and the tigger spring shoved up my attitude), while the person looking out of my eye sockets feels a variety of ages, situation dependent. feeling old is uncommon and typically brief…like that moment every few years when you bother to read the counter sign that announces “You must have been born on or before a date in the model year of my car to buy cigarettes or alcohol.” or when you jump in a pickup game of anything and realize in eleven seconds just how far you and your body have drifted apart.

feeling young in good and uncomfortable ways is more common for me. the “good” part of feeling young is a consistent theme in my posts. so let’s talk about uncomfortable. do you find that certain people and situations can reduce you to a range where “-pubescent” with some prefix can still apply? that characteristic has followed me from puberty through quite an independent, responsibility-filled life, but it does feel like it’s changing the closer i get to 40. i wonder if sometime soon i will feel like a real grown up…not “my age” exactly…but if a point will come at which the maturity lag will still place my most snickery self within the adult age range.

that’s not this weekend though. i remind myself that the 20-something i’m talking about sees the world through her own eye sockets and i try to revisit mine at that age for some perspective. but she seems so mature. that’s not how it’s supposed to work. “kids” today are supposed to mature later and still be ridiculous, use the word “like” too much (at least more than i do), and look 16 forever. maybe it’s because she’s taller than me? hardly any girls are. perhaps it’s a physiological observation affecting my psycho-social reaction. (see all the grown up words i know?). maybe it’s because she’s kinda quiet. maybe i just shouldn’t expect to know what to expect.

you might call all of this confusion immaturity and insecurity. i call it a life of youth and whimsy. what’s amazed  me this weekend is that part of life still feels like the lunch room in junior high. maybe that’s a good memory for some…for others it makes Paradise Lost read like a travel magazine. but those lunch tables left over in my mind are vestiges of the character building that formed my compassion and empathy…both for myself and others. looking back i think i was kind of cool kid to kids even less cool than me…but that didn’t leave much feelin’ cool to split between us all. i didn’t like how some of my peers thought of me then…or didn’t think of me…so i had to find my outrageous self another way.

perhaps writing about it here will help me merge my “selves” into a life of youth and whimsy, maturity and security, with lots more i’ve-never-done-this-before elements to process. or maybe i’ll always factor in the view from the lunch room…maybe that legacy of adolescence never truly fades to 100% funny. it’s ok, i am and always have been part of the 99%. and i like it. there is a lot of room for weird in here.

20 Pieces of Flair – A week so positive you’ll want to slap it


it feels like a drug, writing after that two-week crash-sojourn. i just had to cram in a post…short, sweet and blatantly rushed. i’ve got 30 minutes. i’m here because i can’t help it. this just keeps getting better and better, especially the more i read out here on our sarcasmosphere. (and i firmly assert that my enthusiasm results only partially from drinking three times the daily recommended amount of caffeine…while my typos and the light sweat between my fingers and keyboard may be 100% attributed to that factor).

so, i’m going to throw out a cop-out post and list 20 things that can make a week spectacular if you are me:

  1. enough hours and sick leave to take off a huge portion of the week
  2. enough drugs to make sick leave more enjoyable than work
  3. enough health to enjoy coffee if not much food. (no doubt supportive of improved health, at least on my action figure planet*)
  4. progress on my very own business adventure in copywriting  (
  5. watching my ego squirm as my heart takes command
  6. a good boyfriend
  7. humbling synchronicity unmatched in detail and delight
  8. firming up family vacation plans for a yummy thanksgiving
  9. an upcoming itinerary carrying littlebean and me to see one of my besties and then my family
  10. a family located on the sunny coast of floreeda
  11. tickets to see my all-time favorite band, widespread panic, all acoustic, all kinds of intimate, before they head out on hiatus
  12. a mystically managed last-minute surprise plan for someone special (see item #6)
  13. mystically managed last-minute plans that include such coolness for me that i want to burst
  14. looking forward all week to plans tonight, both serious and hilarious (a family member introduction…at a comedy club. i must say, it’s nice cover for awkward laughs)
  15. several more interesting and unusual plans for this weekend (and how cool and social they will make me look to my FB friends)
  16. not being too sick to participate in those plans
  17. babysitting older sisters (and brothers in-law 🙂 )
  18. a bunch of extra hits and likes on posts thanks to a little outreach
  19. this forum for trumpeting my own horn
  20. the other trumpeteers i’ve stumbled into out here who crack my shit up

*barista sold separately

pretty good,  yah? i’m savoring. people tell me life can be this good. sometimes i tell others that. i could do a better job telling me that, but the fear of disappointment gives my demons something to do while i live the good life. happy weekending and thank you to each and every person who hit this blog, any page on it, thought enough to like something and in some cases, inexplicably and perversely signed up for more. for those of you that stick around, you’ll watch an evolution. the evolution of my outrageous, loving self. and i take pointers…so if you figure out something about this life before i do, please feel free to share.



this train of thought will make all local stops. transfers are inevitable at most stations.


my fingers are positively giddy. oh how i’ve missed this space, this screen. my life and mind have been occupied and preoccupied with work and sick and health and wealth and love. that’s a lot of occupation, and with all the preoccupying going on, it may last some time. (incidentally, i did not use the word “occupation” simply to drive search results hits to my blog…though now that i think about it, i admit i’m curious.)

i’m all for a thought draw-down right about now…critical systems only, like daily survival and some infrastructure. and daydreams. can’t forget those. i’m nothing without my daydreams. someone like me is far more likely to see daydreams come true than to fully execute any long term plan…which is why i intentionally broke the  pattern of posting regularly, which was one of my famous Original Plans. (yeah…let’s go with it’s a purposeful rebellion against restrictive plans my rational mind had placed on my inner artiste.)

ahem. so. here i am and i’m SO done with the illness theme, both in my writing and in my daily experience. it’s suh-hoe retirement village. instead i will keep it brief and ponder two completely disparate things, as i revel and giggle at both:

Reiki – holy crap. and i mean that seriously, that epithet couldn’t be a more appropriate descriptor. i approached the session with hope, i dove in fully and gave it it’s best chance.  result: it exceeded every expectation i had, and showed me that what i thought might be crap was instead something downright holy. again, i’ll go ahead and self report the “i was abducted by aliens” equivalent right here in print…call me, well, call me what ever you want…(i like “enlightened” if you are having trouble)…but i had what i would define as an out-of-body experience. it was not a death kinda thing, nor did i follow any ghosts around in a foggy version of This is Your Life. but i definitely tapped what scientists refer to as the God Brain and it was really cool. i connected with, became part of, a truly greater presence that carried an energy of infinite calm and knowledge. bitchin’.

my dude did a lot more than pass his hands around me. there was a lot of release, some physical manipulation of tight spots and a beautiful guided journey built of all my “stuff.”  the next day i got up and exercised. i craved, made and ate a brown-rice breakfast bowl, then fixed one for my daughter. i meditated for more than eleven minutes…(it was supposed to be five but i set my timer for five hours instead. it took me a while to catch just how zen i was becoming and give myself permission to glance at the Ohm Timer of Peace, aka my smartphone).

i’ve not exactly made these into habits, but the benefits of that remarkable session are resonating through every day. i highly recommend a session with someone great…it’s health-promoting and potentially mystical if you can find it in yourself to go there.

Frequent Flyer Miles – i opened my kid’s first frequent flyer account today…and then lamented all the flights she’s taken already without accruing miles. it’s enough to lament. she’s two and a half. it makes me happy to give her this young life, and she seems so happy to accept it. i try to be careful not to push a personality on my kid…but it’s hard to imagine my offspring hating to travel. wanderlust is part of my DNA, like brown hair and hilarious finishing times in foot races.

well, i’m posting this late because the day has only allowed me to string a few moments together at a time…with breaks just long enough for trains of thought to make their switches and move on to other outposts. i’ve laid so much track up there lately, so many places i could wander. for now though, i’m enjoying this stop, the sound of keys and of me cursing fat fingers. they are slow for this nimble and spastic and fantastic mind, the one that often speaks before thinking…my fingers are better gatekeepers than this mouth. admittedly, neither are very effective in the long run.

happy thursday. persist, perceive, progress and peace out. all will be well and unwell…go with what you got.

the hovering of hands…how was your metaphysical today?


in a few hours i’m headed to a Reiki appointment. i’m so excited. a friend turned me onto a local guy who is a real guru in the field, a teacher, and whose treatments have produced visible differences in my friend’s appearance, energy and sense of well-being. seriously. i thought she saw a new shrink, or got laid. she went from crazy-hair-on-fire lady, consumed by someone else’s problems and abuse, to someone lithium-calm with a secret smile and a new attitude…not to mention some self-reported physical relief from pain and tension.

i’ll try not to set my expectations too high…a problem exactly opposite my attitude the first time i wandered into the perfect calm of a Reiki Master’s treatment room. it smelled nice, the music was chill, but come on, woman…touch me! don’t i get some kind of massage out of this!? how can this possibly work other than by placebo? how easy is it to bullshit this stuff? i guess this lady believes it...

since then i’ve participated in some group Reiki at a retreat i went to almost 10 years ago. it’s the only event of its kind that i’ve ever attended and i’d be loathe to tell you some of the “energy freeing” activities we performed with our am-i-seriously-doing-this eyes cast to the ground. i showed up in my kid-sized saints jersey with my back torqued and holding me at about 160 degrees fully upright. i was late after getting lost and blowing a toll booth because back then i had no GPS lady to tell me there were tolls on my spiritual path through the marsh. man, i was cranky, grrrrr. six other perfectly reasonable, wounded women were already there, just as skeptical and guarded as I was then. over the course of a long weekend, we each cracked our foundations and saw a permanent shift in the color of our worlds. good stuff. but there were dances with scarves involved. i wore my sour tomboy face a lot.

part of that weekend involved doing Reiki as a group on each participant. i’m here to say, publicly, that i actually felt the energy move between my hands and my housemates…without touching them at all. and now i feel like i just admitted witnessing an alien-abduction, an exorcism with visible spirits and fire, a miraculous faith-healing or some other eye-rolling claim…please indulge me. i’m one of those people who takes the right brain/left brain test and gets told to take it again because i come out right smack in the middle. not the most common result, but i’m not the only one. i like to think i’m occasionally original, but i’ve not achieved “freak of nature” status yet.

on the one hand, the dreamer and spiritual being in me wants to let go and flow with whatever it is that i feel energetically, whatever i see as synchronicity and connection. it’s a strong pull…and apparently a rather universal desire among our kind. and then there’s the other hand. the one that thinks the first hand lives in the clouds painting flowers and rainbows on its limited canvas, reading The Secret. it’s the one that has substance in my physical world. that hand is connected to a being that feels the need to touch, see, smell or at least calculate or measure everything in the natural world. i have an emotional investment in research on a unified field theory, though i feel almost nauseous at the thought of getting close to “figuring it all out.” i don’t know why, because ultimately, “figuring it out,” wrapping it up in a nice neat bow, probably only alters navigation methods and results…it likely won’t remove the emotion, the process, the experiment, the navigation of the human experience. i think we’re stuck with some of it.

so i’m going to take both hands to Reiki and let someone else’s take over and achieve what they can. i’ll do my best to hold both of mine open and let truth take care of the rest. i’ve quoted Neil DeGrasse Tyson here before, paraphrased perhaps. he’s known to mention often that one of the cool things about science is that you don’t have to believe in it for it to be true. i’ve heard the same said about God. lucky for me, and my hands.

desirous of everything at the same time


with a nod to jack k in the title of this post, i’ll start the whole thing off with another quote, author unknown:

“Sometimes the heart does what it wants; without asking the mind.”

my daughter is in her crib sleep-muttering “i want more….i want more.” oh, honey, i hear ya…and i’m here to tell you, it never stops. i’m fairly certain she is talking about candy from last night’s hallowed adventures. she’ll want more of that until she’s gumming every piece. and she wants a “grankey toooo….” (toddler for “blanket” – the companion kind, small format, like a baby polio-blanket). low-hangin’ fruit for a mom. pretty easy heart desires to fulfill).

i want more too. and better. and a blanket. and most of my wants are at best vagueries unavailable by delivery or moms.

i want better health…but i don’t want to do much about it except wait for the shiny god doctors to heal me, no matter how much i know it’s up to me. it’s not as though i’m sick despite a healthy diet, regular exercise or stress-relieving meditation.

i want more business…but i’ve barely begun and can only wish for the gift gods to hand it to me without proper development, work, success and failure.

i want better security…right now. i want my business to take off and take over my income so i can stop sweating what will happen to me now that the most secure job i’ve ever had is hitting some shoals.  i want to be independent and successful enough in the next two days or two months to never worry what happens there. i want it to happen to me without me working too hard…mostly at guess work.

i want more feel like i can do more than catch up, spend more time with my daughter and dog, more time giving back. i want it now, magically…the removal of some huge responsibility so i can have that mythical “free time” that we always fill with something else, many times with things outside of our intended focus.

i want more tattoos…those i’m willing to wait, work for and sit through.

other than that, i feel i have enough. enough love, enough caring friends, enough light and sense of purpose. i have enough inspiration and support. i have enough fulfillment from my child, my relationships and the goals i’m plodding toward. i have so much bounty and so many blessings. thanks to the abundance of all those things, i have the capacity to get what i want…though not at the pace and ease that seems coolest to me (instant!)…all of the things above are achievable if my heart and attitude stay in the right place at least most of the time.

i will always want more. i’m a driven person. i don’t want more “stuff,” i’m well past that demon…but i want to keep striving and giving, achieving and passing on the favors and support i get along the way. sounds noble right? (not to be confused with the nobel i would like to collect one day – oooh, there’s some ego, not exactly an altruistic goal)…but that noble desire is honest. i can tell because no matter what excuses my demons make, my heart is plugging away at those wants, filled with lots of love and gratitude. my heart is doing the work where my mind feels lazy and wants things to happen not develop.

my heart has been working for my best interest, noticeably, since my world exploded a couple of years ago. i’ve become very impressed with my heart…especially the way it takes the initiative, whether popular or not at the demons’ cool kids lunchtable. it doesn’t care if they make fun of it, or ignore it, or talk over it. it’s on a mission.

the truth is, i still think of myself as lazy. anyone other achievers have that problem? i literally have to write things down in order to believe i could have done them. try it sometime when you feel like your progress is flagging. my heart has accomplished so much more than my mind will ever allow it to take credit for. besides, those demons will still be lamenting about the glory days, long after my heart has conquered my imperfect world.

cheers. love yourself. we are all saints today. namaste.