Feeds:
Posts
Comments

My Books, My Sirens

When I was younger, I tried to close the gap between desire and reality by planning to work hard, work harder, make lots of money.  I figured the only other option was to want things less and that didn’t seem feasible.  It turns out, I found the first method difficult and generally unsustainable, given the age discrimination most of us will face at some point – meaning, our earnings and earning potential could not incline upward for our entire working lives.

The decrease in wanting things was less tricky than I’d expected.  After a while, when you’re no longer in the habit of shopping for entertainment or expecting new stuff to tirelessly parade into your home, you have trouble remembering why you felt these twinges and pulls at all. Of many things, anyway. I’m no minimalist, for sure, but I suspect even minimalists are susceptible to the Siren song of some particular thing.  I can assess so many things with a practical eye and not buy.  Sometimes all I need is to walk around a store with the item and this cures me – turns out I just needed to spend a little time with that thermos or scarf, not to carry it home, and I put it back.

Books are my Sirens.  My practical side knows that the library has a treasure trove of books I can read for free and won’t get thru in three lifetimes.  Yet I still want stacks and stacks of my own at home. Partly b/c I won’t risk taking them in the tub.  Or on a trip, after leaving one at Logan airport (though, to my astonishment, a kind soul had found it and mailed it to the library, saved me from the cost of a replacement hardback.)  And don’t get me started on the yuckiness of what I find crusted on the pages of more popular YA novels.  But those lame excuses could suffice if I had just a few used books at home.  Instead, I have what may in some states constitute a small library branch.  Our local library just had its book sale; divine.  Each year I stack books for the coming winter like others stack cords of wood.

I so love it when someone’s visiting and asks if perhaps I have any good books I could lend them; I must stifle a laugh as we climb the stairs to my unwieldy stacks.

Agenda item: bee training

I dreamt I was at a meeting about a software implementation project.  It had many phases, which grew increasingly more complex.

Notably, the phase being discussed would require team members to jump on a trampoline while wearing a large beard of bees.  I had some concerns about this, but chose to embrace it for the time being. Even in dreams there can be pressure to be a team player, you know?

Nutty Games

I recently came across this diary entry from 2010 and wanted to share:

Yesterday on my lunch break I was at Rite Aid to buy some boring things like shampoo.

Cashier: “Do you have the Rite Aid Game of Life™ gameboard yet?”
Me: “No.”
Cashier: “Would you like a Game of Life™ gameboard?”
Me: “No, thank you.”
Cashier: “Would you like the game pieces anyway, in case you decide to get the Game of Life™ gameboard later?”
Me: (Polite, but firm).  “No, thank you.”
Cashier: “I’m just gonna go ahead and throw these game pieces in your bag and then you can use them later if you want!”

That night I’m emptying the bag o’ personal care items and see two game pieces.  Each has a coupon inside.
I open the first one: 50 cents off jar of Rite Aid peanuts.
I open the second one: 75 cents off Fiddle Faddle (the snack food with peanuts in it).

I, of course, have a deadly peanut allergy. I think they’ve been waiting for their chance to git me ever since I transferred our prescriptions elsewhere.  They know I rarely resist a bargain and they’re trying to tempt me into a deadly snackfest! The humanity! The humanity!!!!!!!!!

When it comes down to it, I’m a bit of of a rube.  Online articles keep reeling me in and then disappointing me.  Damp squibs, if you will.

They will say things like, “The Real Key to Happiness (Spoiler: it’s not more stuff!)” or “A Simple Way to Dial Your Anxiety Down”.  And the answer is always (drum roll please) . . . mindfulness and/or meditation.

Look.  I’m not saying mindfulness and meditation aren’t effective.  I might even be able to corroborate these claims if I could stick to a practice with the same diligence as seeking out Clefairies in Pokémon Go.  I’m just saying it would be refreshing if we could all hear a bit more about the OTHER things that help to make humans happy and let off steam.

I want to see the article whose answer is:  “Limoncello!”  Or, “Punching stuff!”  Or, “Exploring Awkward Family Photos!”

Or maybe I don’t need to see it.  Because maybe I just wrote it.

Take Back the Gym

I was looking down, trying to fix my new muthaflippin cheapass earbuds, so at first I didn’t notice the dude in the running lane on the track.  But eventually I saw that he had gone from running to other things.  At first, it was fairly normal things.  Jumping jacks; modified burpies.

But then it got strange.

First, he was doing a sort of kicky backwards jog, and I’m sad to report that jazz hands were involved.  Next lap around, he was doing marching + karate chops.  And after that?  Why, jaunty Rockette high kicks, of course.

I expected to eventually look up and see him doing the Worm, or perhaps a full scale musical number a la Paco’s Puttin on the Ritz video.  (“Hey, man!  Let’s go to the gym and do some Pacos!”)

random bits

Do you ever have random memories pop into your head?  she asked.

His smile was a response, she knows he does not.  Her question was not a real inquiry anyway but, rather, a polite intro to her own reverie.

“I was remembering a very hot August Sunday afternoon.  I was about 9, out on the small porch on my grandparents’ apartment in Revere, Massachusetts.  

The small portable radio is at my side and I am laying on a thin bath towel. on top of the splintery wood floor. When I look up the sky is fragmented into uneven bits by a criscross of  wires that look like they have been there as long as the sky, but that couldn’t be.

‘Love is higher than a mountain, love is thicker than water . . . heaven’s angel, devil’s daughter.’  (Two separate women?  two sides of the same woman?)  Do I never hear that song anymore because it is so awful, or because i have fabricated it?

I feel like the big girls, my cousins who sun themselves by their outdoor pool, who Drink Soda and Talk About Boys.  I like to pretend I am becoming indoctrinated and try to ignore niggling questions like “How do they lie there uncomplaining and baking for hours at a time like glossy game hens?”  and  “Does anyone actually find this fun or is this the modern day Emperor’s New Clothes?”

I am bored but I don’t have the energy to get up for a long time.  The sun erased my will.  Eventually I do go inside, away from the too-intense sunshine and too-friendly hornets.

My mother begins, ‘Don’t let the screen door…’

whump.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I understand why the older ladies start wearing shawls.  Once you are marginalized, no-one gives you their heat.  No-one wants to touch you any longer.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

He loved her for her quirks.  The way her sounds of pleasure were small questions (“Oh?  Oh?”).  But mostly, for the things she was not.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

She looked at the flags and wreaths adorning the gravestones with a grimace – the popularity contest doesn’t even end with death!

I went to 3 different grad schools (two for Comm. Sciences & Disorders programs, and one for Secondary Ed).  Only finished the 3rd one.  I’d explain, but it’s a long story plus I have sold the rights to the Lifetime channel, who will be making a t.v. movie of it starring Meredith Baxter-Birney, costarring Danielle Brisbois as the sassy neighbor.

But I digress.

One summer evening in 1997, I was glaring at application forms.  I was in the middle of round 2 of applying for grad school.  I’d done everything but the essays.  Oh lordy, the essays.  You’d think since I like to write I wouldn’t mind doing essays, but for academic purposes I very much do.  Mind it.  With multiple choice tests, you circle answers and, right or wrong, you’re done.  With an essay, when are you done?  Some might say you are never truly done with a piece of writing.  Yes, well, for something that will be assessed, I find that fact unsettling and unsatisfying.

So, glaring at the applications.  Deeply wishing that some deus ex machina would sweep in and write them, or at least provide a legitimate reason to procrastinate, when the phone rang.  Normally one to ignore a phone, I leapt for it.

The young man on the line said that he was with a marketing research firm conducting a survey about the upcoming feature film “Beautician and the Beast”, starring “The Nanny’s” Fran Drescher.  He said it would take about 20 minutes of my time.  I was needed, people.

I practically shouted, “I’d love to take your survey!”.  He’d obviously had no takers that day because he was very surprised, kept thanking me, and had to rummage around to locate the survey questions.

The takeaway here?  I think your average person is not motivated to take surveys by the chance to win a prize or help a cause.  The big motivator is an opportunity to avoid something worse than your survey.  These are the people to locate, Mr. and Ms. Survey Launcher.  The downside is, your population will be 100% procrastinators.  This would typically not be an issue, however, unless you are looking to gauge interest in, say, a book called, “Get Off Yer Duff and Take Care of That Thing Already.”

Oh, and – you may have trouble getting these folks off the line.  Me, after being barraged by questions about Fran Drescher, beauticians, movie ads, beasts, and who knows what else, had feelings of genuine disappointment when the surveyor was wrapping up.

“So . . . that’s all the questions, huh?” I asked, trying to sound casual.  “You folks researching any other films?”  I could practically hear his finger hovering above the disconnect button.

Fine, I thought.  Just you wait until you decide to apply for school, mister.

cricketmuse

a writer's journey as a reader

the art of dawn rogal

works and life in progress

Ben's Bitter Blog

"We make bitter better."

thisisyouth

On the quest to live an interesting life.

Toss the Typewriter

Appreciate the past; Live the present; Anticipate the future.

CURIO

Because its worth your curiosity.........

Big Red Carpet Nursing

Fun & Progress!

annotated audrey art

Desert Artist & Coloring Book Illustrator.

HarsH ReaLiTy

A Good Blog is Hard to Find

James Revels Composer

"And those who were seen dancing were thought insane by those who could not hear the music." - Nietzche

The Evolution of Eloquence

Improving the English language one letter at a time

Riley Amos Westbook

A fantasy Author with too much free time on his hands that likes to Support Indie Authors.

talinorfali

Don't ever change yourself to impress someone, cause they should be impressed that you don't change to please others -- When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is, always remember that the teacher is always quiet during a test --- Unknown

kelzbelzphotography

My journey - The good, bad and the ugly

Storyshucker

A blog full of humorous and poignant observations.

Flirting w/ eLearning

Blogging about instructional design, eLearning, graphic design and more.

The Shameful Sheep

shit storms, shame, and stories that make you cringe

Power Plant Men

True Power Plant Stories

A Narcissist Writes Letters, To Himself

A Hopefully Formerly Depressed Human Vows To Practice Self-Approval

autismthoughts

My experiences with autism, depression, and life

Fiesta Friday

Food + Friends = Fun

Sublime Curiosity

A zoo for thought experiments.

Lucy’s Football

Author, digital editor, copyeditor

Highly Irritable

Just another failed attempt at hilarity

Curmudgeon at Large

Short bursts of curmudgeonry on any topic.

Puddintopia

The Ramblings and Ravings Of Author Jason A. Rust

White Elephant in the Room

random insight from an unwanted houseguest

Listful Thinking

Listless: Lacking zest or vivacity

markmdmph

Where medicine intersects with public health

Misc. Maggie

Now with 25% More Miscellaneousness

The Flexi Foodie

Low-fat, plant-based, whole foods, yummy recipes & healthy living tips

Fig Jam and Lime Cordial

Living well in the urban village

spontaneous tomato

from the kitchen & travels of an always-hungry tomato-lover. (updated every other thursday)

you and mie

let's make things

Express yourself. It is later than you think.

knit the hell out

More obsessed with each passing stitch.

amaryllis log

create something

Dan Ariely

My Irrational Life

Mr. Library Dude

Blogging about libraries, technology, teaching, and more

L.M. Sacasas

Technology, Culture, and Ethics

LibrarianShipwreck

Libraries, Archives, Technology, Impending Doom

Sorry Television

Reading a book a week

Critical Dispatches

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @RichyDispatch

%d bloggers like this: