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Walking Down a Different Road…Poorly.

This title may not be what you think. I have found that I have grown tired of “just making it.” It weighs upon my mind a lot. I have also found that when you do finally start heading toward a point where you can do slightly more than “just make it.” The higher powers tend to see an opportunity to squeeze you for whatever extra it is that you have and put you right back to where you were to begin with. Yes, I tend to not write about things like this on my public blogs. However, writing is a form of release for me and today, I will, walk down a different road.

My family is not your typical american family when it comes to paying bills and debt. We are not drowning under credit card debt or a crushing mortgage. We have abstained from refinancing or taking out additional lines of credit against our house. While that may be the thing to do, I simply don’t feel it to be the right thing to get our bills paid when we can do it just fine without that. Borrowing from one source just to reduce the payments on another or to combing a bunch of nickle and dime things just does not seem like the thing to do. (Oh, Daddy, you should be so proud!) In hindsight, no credit card debt and the fact that we can pay our necessities without worry is great. We have TWO extra things that we have been working on to pay off over time but it is not so much that we have to struggle to make bills. These things are just to improve our credit score. Now that I think about it. I am only feeding into the corporate monster and living the Sheeple life by doing that. However, it seems to be necessary if we want to get ahead in any area of life like to purchase a new car. (Example only, walking is so much better for the environment.) Well, that will be over soon and we will only have to foot the bill for “necessaries” like power, water, mortgage, and internet. Yea, internet is a necessary. Well, at least until the world goes to heck in a hand basket. Then we can do away with THAT bill. Yay?

Still, none of the above is what weighs heavily on me. I think a lot about the vacations my parents took me on as a kid. Those were vivid memories which stood out against the bland backdrop of watching my previous year of school become a fading memory on the highways of this country. Remember, every ending school year meant that Daddy was going to sign a new contract with his company and they would ship up off to yet another state to live for the year while he straightened out the mess of a kitchen they sent him to. He provided for us and we had our vacations. I just never had any roots to grow until I became older. My roots are spread all over this country from coast to coast. Dry, brittle, and long forgotten, the things that stand out the most were the vacations. Maybe that was what they did to make up for uprooting me from potential friends and opportunities which could have been afforded to me growing up. Still, I would not have changed anything.

It’s not that our brood prevents us from taking a vacation. We have a support system and family who can watch the kids while we pick and choose or even watch the dogs while we are away. It’s the fact that, while this country tells you to make memories with your children, they put the financial portion out of the reach of the average person. The nuclear family has to make nearly $50, 000 a year to be able to put away something into savings and even then, you need nearly $5,000 to even think about a 3 day trip for a couple. Everything is taxed and everything is overpriced. When Reagan was president (yes, I know, cost of living, etc. BS to that,) purchasing a brand new car did not mean that you were taking out a note that was near the equivalent of the market value of your home. It didn’t cost $50 to PARK at a resort area only to again pay near the same PER PERSON to get in. Never mind the fact that you then have to pay just to breathe inside the park. Corporate greed, my friends. They try to make smiles only attainable for the extraordinarily rich and, frankly, I am tired of it.

On a different note, do you know why this country has become so fanatically engrossed in the fact that they love to watch the prepping shows and extreme couponing?  It is this: the poor are tired of being sucked dry and being pushed around by the rich. They remember the Great Depression and they know what it will take to hurt the rich. Not to assassinate or rob them. Let the stock market drop. Let the zombie apocalypse happen. Let there be some fantastic computer glitch that takes out the internet. Who is going to survive? Those of us who know what it is like to live without. Those of us who can survive on skill alone and not believe it to be the end of the world simply because your investments took a wrong turn. Snatch those comfy pillow out from under the stuffy rich who sit upon them and what do you have? Sniveling, snarling, rich bastards who believe they have just lost their entire world. Oh, sure, there will be a few who will move on and think that they can do it all over again. However, when the world goes to shit, their money is going to be nothing more than fuel for the fire. With their clean, unscarred hands and the inability to know how to do a hard day’s work, they will not last long. I can assure you of that.

OK. I feel better now. I put a foot on my soapbox and chewed the gum for a few minutes. Thanks for listening peeps. Oh, yea….

What do YOU think?

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Whatever happened to Miss Ingold?

Back in my lat teens and early 20’s I was a breakfast manager at a local fast food restaurant named Hardee’s. The hours were perfect: 3am-1pm. For me, it was an easy job and presented challenges as well. One such challenge was some of the people that worked the same shift I did. One was the hostess, she is a topic for another story. The other was this big ole German lady named Ingold.

Ingold was not by any means your normal person. To begin with, she had to warm up to you. It was not easy to gain her confidence in your abilities as either a manager or a co-worker. Also, she hated everyone. However, she was good at her job. Ingold only worked breakfast. When it was time to transition, she was out the door. She was a good worker but you had to get her on your side to work for you. You see, Ingold liked to be prompt and start things on time. While the manager was technically not supposed to start or arrive to open the doors until at least 3:45 am, if you showed up at any point after 3:00 am, you were certain to have a bad day. Showing up late made Ingold grouchy and boy…you never wanted that woman to be grouchy. (Grumpy doesn’t even come close to what this woman could be if she was…grouchy. Even Oscar the Grouch was mild compared to when this woman was on a roll. Ah, but I digress.) I liked to show up early just for her because I knew if she started her day off right, I would not have to worry about the kitchen because Miss Ingold handled things. Besides, at 4:01 am, the time the schedule says we are supposed to clock in, she would get in her car and go home. THAT, my friends, is a bad day. Without her, it was difficult at best.

Other workers knew that too. Because I worked hard to get Miss Ingold on my side, she eventually warmed up to me. I think there were a few mornings that I totally earned her respect. “Why? How?” You ask? Like this:

Ingold worked six days a week. The days I was blessed to have her on my shift, I knew I was going to have a good day. She kept that kitchen running and things were hardly ever late. I would giggle at her when there was a special request from a customer during the busy part of the morning because she would yell through the window at me “What the hell do they think this is Burger King? This is not have it your way!” Begrudgingly, she would make the special request anyway. If she was particularly chipper, she would offer to make your breakfast for you on your break and hook a sister up!

Anywhoo, back to the how and why. There were a few times I had overslept. Upon waking, the only thing I would think would be:

“Shit! Ingold is gonna be pissed!”

I would jump straight up, throw on my pants, button 4 of the 7 buttons on my shirt, grab my shoes, brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, and other “get ready” stuff and run to the car just so I could make it on time. One particular morning I got lots of laughter from her (which was rare) because I showed up at 3:05 am and had all my stuff randomly in my arms and was dropping and picking up things all the way from my car to the door. I was apologetic every step of the way. One sock on, one sock off, she actually told me not to worry that she was in a good mood because of me. This thoroughly confused me because in Ingold time, I was late. I think the that she seen that I was stressing out over her being grouchy more than I was at my appearance at Good God It’s Early in the morning. To be honest, I think that was the first time I did that. After that day, I think I had Miss Ingold on my side and we got along famously. Even when she was grouchy.

She was old then and this was in the mid 1990’s. I moved on and life went on but I thought of her often. I really liked that old Broad. I wonder what has become of her?

What do YOU think?

 

The Breaking of the Beam

Stephen King had it right.

In the writing of the Dark Tower Series, he foretold of the destruction of man via people using their minds to break the beams that hold our worlds together. He wrote about a group of people in a desolate wasteland who went to “work” every day by gathering in a room and concentrating on one thing or another all the while their mental activity is chipping away at reality and causing the erosion of society. This story started in the machinations of this author’s mind long ago.

Translate that into today’s world, this is exactly what is happening. While you sit there, staring into the device that you are using to read this blog post, you are using your mental faculties to chip away at the beam of reality. All the while, the world around you is falling into chaos and disarray. You sit there, for hours on end, focusing on this little gadget. From an uninformed, third party, point of view, it appears that you are just staring at an inanimate object. The world forgotten. Like abandoned homes and buildings, the more attention you pay to the gadget in your hand, the more cracked, disregarded, and uninhabited your life becomes. We, as a society, are essentially breaking the beams to our own realities and letting technology take over. In the stories I mentioned here, there is a mechanical being that controls a thing or two. In our life, it is the cell phones and the computers and tablets that are taking over.The Positronics of the modern age.

It is not to say that this can be reversed. It can. It truly can. However, it is going to take more than one voice to make it so. Even as I sit here and write to you about the startling reality that is going on around us, I am feeding into the chaos and disarray as I compose my message to you.

For all the naysayers that disagree, I urge you to ponder this: How hard is it for you to leave your gadget alone for 24 hours. What about 48 hours? Three days?  It is nearly impossible for anyone to admit that they can do this without worrying about what they are missing or what they are going to come back to.

Tell me, what do YOU think?

The horror. The sacrifices.

We all know Micaa is not a drinker. A couple long island iced teas out of the gallon vodka jug and she is done. (Uh huh. I know wbat I did there.) She also likes to cook whe she is drinking. Hrmm. Maybe that is dangerous. Well, I havent burnt the house down (yet.) I gusless that means I have my Daddy’s genes. I always remember that Daddy had to have his whiskey.  Now I am not that bad off but I can tell you this; when I got older I was afraid to get in thw car with that man if he DIDN’T have a drink or two in him. He was notorious for scaring the bejesus out of my mother. He just ended not being able to drive correctly sober.  I know. This goes against the grain of the law and everything that is morally correct. Sad but true.

Ah, but I digress. Dinner. I like to cook and listen to music when I am partaking of the “tea.” Today, I was cooking spaghetti for me and the kiddos and some seasoned pork neck bones for Cal. Of course this is all last minute and I have to defrost everything. The neck bones were already out on the counter when I got off work so they were technically halfway there. The hamburger, that was another thing. I make an ill fated attempt at defrosting the hamburger. It must have been juicy when we divided it up and put it in the freezer because the end of the tube that I pulled out of the freezer had frozen beef blood caked on it. Thinking ahead, I did not want to have zapped beef blood pooled around my defrosted hamburger and attempted to take the wrapper off. While doing so, the warmth from my fingers started to flake off the frozen plasma. This was turning into a bloody mess (no pun intended.) It got on the wall, the electric skillet, the counter, floor, and my shirt. UGH. MY FAVORITE SHIRT!! I got over it quickly. I was doing laundry too. It will be washed out post haste.

On to the neck bones. They were still frozen together but nothing a pry from a steak knife wont take care of. I put them into the pot I was going to boil them in. Because they were still frozen together, they stood about 6 inches or so above the top of the pot. I filled the pot halfway with water in an attempt to make the prying a bit easier. This is where it became fun. As pieces begrudgingly came off or as I turned the slab this way, or that, the water became bloody from the raw meat. It splashed….into the sink, on the counter, down the front of the cabinets, on the floor, and my shirt. UGH! MY FAVORITE SHIRT!!! AGAIN!

I later found out that it even got on the laundry room door. How? I have no idea! I just remember I kept thinking “Someone is going to think I either work in a slaughter house or I am making sacrifices to some unknown God for unknown reasons. OR….that I was a bit tipsy and had no idea what I was doing. While the latter is CERTAINLY not true, It was horrible because I had to clean that mess up and I don’t do bodily fluids well. I don’t care if it is a pig or a cow or a kid. Bodily fluids = ick.

So I shared my horror of the day with you. Have you ever done anything that should have been a horror movie in the abstract? Tell me!

What do YOU think?

When the night comes, I tremble with fear.

It is pretty obvious at this point I am going through some things. Most of them are in the deep caverns located only in my mind and others are out in the real world. Unfortunately I cannot blatantly say what either are. No, I am not considering suicide and no, me and Cal are very, very happy. I just go down a dark path every now and again. Sometimes I come back to the light a little quicker than others. This time it has been a hard and rocky road…if even it was a road, path, avenue, whatever.

Lately, I have discovered that when it gets dark or when it gets late, I become afraid. Not so much of the dark. I am afraid of sleep. Lets back up for a moment, shall we? As a child, I was always afraid of the dark. There were monsters in the dark. Even after my Uncle forced me to watch Nightmare on Elm Street II, I would not sleep with some appendage hanging off the bed or with the closet doors open lest something grab me and drag me away. As I entered into my teenage years, the whole “stay totally on the bed” thing remained but the things in the dark that scared me changed. I was afraid of some stranger waking me from my sleep. If I kept my eyes open in the dark, I would imagine horrible things coming into view and murdering me or dragging me off…half alive. Noises didn’t help. Shadows didn’t either.

Cal used to laugh at me and Number Twenty Two years ago. Both of us had the same habit. If we had to shut the light off and walk across a room in the dark, we would flip the switch and race across the room like something was after us. Thinking about it while not experiencing it seems crazy, I know but its not. I don’t know about our son but for me, it was a very real fear and it did not feel good. Your blood becomes hot as your heart races and forces it through your veins the very second the sound of the “flip” from the light switch would reach your ears. Fight or flight ensues and you take off running, trying to race darkness out of the room. Obviously one never wins that race because you are running through the room which darkness has already enveloped. Loser. Once you get to where you are going; be it the other door, the bed, the couch, whatever, the fear leaves you. Only, it is not so easily spat out. It gradually leaves. While it only takes a few seconds to return to normal, your inner self notes that it seems a great deal longer than that. Even after spending four decades on this planet and am fully aware of what can and cannot be in the room as well as knowing what will go bump, it still does not help. There are certain rooms that I will still flip the switch and run. Dark and I are simply not friends. We never have been. Looks like never will be. (Hrmm, maybe I will be forced to roam this earth forever, hiding not in the shadows but in the light. I wonder if this makes me one of the “angels” that play with babies when they are first born? Ah, I digress. That, dear readers, is a story for another day.)

Back to the dark.

I am not sure words would suffice to describe how I feel when the sun sets. Its primordial fear. Pure and absolute. I want to run screaming into the night and never return but where would I go and what would I do when I outran that fear? That is scary all by itself. I feel the blood rush through every single vein in my body. Almost like I am becoming self aware or something. My heart begins to race and then sets itself to cruise control until I am able to make myself go into a fitful sleep. Sometimes, I have a beer or two to help me become drowsy. Sometimes I take a migraine pill. (Yea, I have a script for these people, I am NOT a pill junkie.) Anything I can do to force myself to sleep. It is not that I am NOT sleepy, I am just afraid of what dreams will bring or what the last thought which enters into my head will be. I have been having very vivid dreams as of late. Most of them relate to my novel. That is ok, The really good ones stick with me and I get them on paper before they vanish from my memory but the other things are what haunt the voices in my head. Horrible, vivid premonitions. Evil laughter and murderous visions.

It is simply not fair. Sometimes I think, the fear of the dark is a cakewalk compared to this. Not only does it make me afraid of myself and whatever is creating this discomfort for me, it makes me sad. I find it hard to describe to my family what is going on and when I just refer to it as “whatever is going on in my brain” they just go “Oh, that.” Its alright. They are not being callous or cold. They are just tired of seeing me torture myself like this and want it to be better. Only, nobody knows how.

I am not one to go to the doctor for such things and I am certain they will just give me some sort of medication to “make it all better” but I don’t want to be medicated. I just want it to go away. Its like smoking. Just. Flippin. Quit. I know its hard. For me, even eleven years later, I still chew the hell out of a pen when we go on road trips. But I have not had a cigarette, have I? Nope. Any crutch or debilitating “feeling” is going to leave its mark on you. That is just life. You just try to live with it.

At work, when it gets busy, we all talk about “Once more….into the breach! AAAAHHHHGGGGGHHHH!!!!”  This is exactly how I feel with ever sunset. I don’t see it getting any better any time soon. Now that I have put this out there, I think I should take it like that. Face my fear. Fight it. Run into the breach, rifle above your head, screaming….into the night.

Out run the darkness. Face your fear. Grab it and make it yours.

That is the ONLY WAY!

What do YOU think?

Fishing in the Rain (Part Deux of the Reflection is Prettier)

I had another glorious revelation the other day while fishing. While casting my line on an overcast day, a light rain began to fall. I like the rain. Especially the cool crisp rains that only a Seattleite can know. I watched the drops make tiny ripples in the surface of the mirror smooth water. Of course, before the rain began to fall, I was observing the reflection in the pond. I was at one which was surrounded by trees and the beauty of Mother Nature. These are the perfect places to fish, by the way. No trash, no noise, no constraints of human kind. (I digressed. Just a bit. But it IS relevant.) The trees were painted perfectly in the water and the surface so serene and calm, you could almost see the color painted therein.

I have only seen one pond my entire life where the water was so clear you could see straight to the bottom. Even in the middle, as you were standing on the bank, you could see everything in it. THAT, my friend, is a beauty you will never forget. (Yes Carrie, this is YOUR pond. I am jealous! Add me to the list of haters right now! hehe) I will revisit that place one day very, very soon. I remember that pond being so beautiful. You could also see the reflection upon its surface. It was like two worlds converging into one. Not crashing but coming together in a harmonic way. I would love to see what it looks like with a light rain creating random ripples here and there.

As I watched the surface of the pond I was fishing, it started out slowly. Random circles magically appearing here and there. Then they would fade into nothing as quickly as they appeared. Then they became more. Until it was covering the whole pond. At first, I thought it beautiful because it resembled the beginning of life. You know, one cell splits into two and two into four and four into eight…etc. That is what it looked like. But then I seen something deeper. I found that feeling I had at another pond not so long ago when I was observing the reflection and found it entrancing and beautiful. Only, this time, it was the colors on the pond surface smearing and recreating themselves. (Now, I am not much of a Jesus freak but I imagine this is how people who do believe in God wholeheartedly would perceive this.) It was like God was painting, erasing, and painting it again. While each painting was perfect, it was smeared, and repainted to perfection again and again. It was so mesmerizing that I stopped fishing just to watch. This is a great feat. I love fishing. Especially when I go with my Cal. These are the best times with him. He is in his element and has an aura around him that is so bright words cannot describe it.

Even in the rain, he is in his happy place and I could not ask for more. It makes me want to be in that moment forever. Coming back into my own thoughts (Yes, my brain went just like that from the reflection to observing him a few yards away in his own rapture and then back inward,) I once again observed the rain smear the paint on the canvas of the pond and recreate it again. It was magic. It was breathtaking. It was peaceful.

For a moment, I was whole again. I was me. I was calm. Nothing else mattered but being right there with the man of my dreams, doing something we both enjoy. Breathing. If only I had that kind of inner calm with every moment, I would not torture myself with extra things that wreck havoc on my soul.

What do YOU think?

Sometimes the Reflection Is Prettier

Walked down to the pond to cast a few with Cal. He is such a wonderful man to go fishing with. He often reminds me how peaceful and serene things are when you are fishing.

Today, the water was pretty clear. Well as clear as can be for an inner city pond. Recently, the city had cleared out I the woods on the oppoaite side of the pond. This left for a clear view of the sky. There were a few trees along the edge that made for a beautiful scene that I first notice painted across the still surface of the water. I tend to space out and stare across the water when fishing. I dont think about much. I just try to tune into my pole to feel the light tug of a delicious bass on the end of the line. (Haha. Catch that? I digressed and you didn’t even know it. I bet Napoleon Dynamite caught it.) Any way, something made me focus at what I was really looking at. As I cast out my line, the gentle ripple came from the jig when it hit the water and it struck me. I am looking at the very beauty that nature tries to show us everyday. As I take it in, I cast my line back out and look up at the sky. I note that the crescent moon was missing from my painting on tge water but it still lacked something.  It was simply not as breathtaking as the reflection.

Reflection.

Epiphany.

The reflection was more beautiful than the sky. I found it confusing and fantastic at the same time. It made come to a complete understanding. Our reflections tell the world so much more than at first glimpse. It made me want to run home and look into the mirror. I wanted to find what I have been missing.

I wonder what I would find.

In the mean time, I cast my line…watch the ripples change the painting…and breathe in the beauty.  I know know what Cal means. Its not the quiet. Its not the being alone with your thoughts. It is the paintings you see which make you think and appreciate just that.

Revel in the moment for the ripples will change it forever.

What do YOU think?

The Line in the Sky (NOT the Sand)

Driving home from family holiday gatherings is one of my favorite past times. Before I met my Cal, I HATED long trips in the car but they are the best times ever now. This trip was different. You see, Cal was not my navigator this time. Not in the physical sense…sort of. The happy man now has a motorcycle and he wanted to drive it on our holiday trip this time. I have absolutely no qualm with it. When he is on the open road, I can see it in his face, he is free. I like to see that goofy happy all over his face. It calms me and lets me know he is in his “zone.” (Wow, did a digression right off the bat! Talk about efficiency today!) Back to the present here peeps. While I drive, I get to think a lot and I come up with some of the best blog ideas. Many never come to light but they are epic in planning stages! (On a side note, a fellow blogger, The Elephant in the Room, gave me the great idea to record my light bulb moments using my recorder on my phone. Lets see how that goes! 🙂 ) This one has been fluttering around in the back of my mind for nearly a week now and will not lay to rest until I fork it out. Here goes….

We decided to drive home during mid day this time around. Things look different when you are driving in the day time compared to night. I guess that is truly the difference between night and day. This particular day, you could see the streaks in the sky from the airplanes. I guess there were about 10 or 15. They show up so much better when the sky is clear and the weather is cold. It always makes me think of our lovely friends the conspiracy theorists. Sometimes I wonder if they are not becoming more sane than the world gives them credit for. The theories I think about when I see the lines in the sky are that those are not planes taking people to and fro but government planes or drones depositing chemicals in the air to cause disease, mental illness and other things to make people just plain off.  While I have more faith in humanity than that, it is something that is quite possible if you get right down to it.

This is where I draw the line in the sand. Yes, our government would like to control us. Yes, there are things that would make one consider even the most ridiculous scenarios and yes, there are things that the government does to control the sheeple that nobody wants to admit. But, where is the evidence?

Yes, this is a rant going nowhere but I just wanted to put it out there for the moment. Think about those lines in the sky.

Where is YOUR line in the SAND?

What do YOU think?

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