Beth in the Abstract


Recognition of computer generated art is new for me. The “Wow!” factor has been there for quite some time, but genuine appreciation for the medium has grown on me quite significantly in recent months. An image generated electronically still requires a human eye during its creation that is keenly in tune with shape and color and shadow.

Today I was introduced to the art of
David and Teresa Silverthorn by my online friend Lisa who posted the Lisa moniker piece from ‘The People’ collection and, as luck would have it, they also have piece a titled Beth:


Obviously this artwork was not created for me, but I happen to like it. The colors are deep and rich… not a vomitous touch of pastel anywhere. It is intricate and complex and layered and strangely twisted, not unlike moi.

“Abstract painting is abstract. It confronts you. There was a reviewer a while back who wrote that my pictures didn't have any beginning or any end. He didn't mean it as a compliment, but it was.” ~Jackson Pollock

Reel Relevance


There are movies. And then… there are moments. Cinematic surprises. Often the films that touch me most are the ones that I didn’t see coming. I go to the cinema or my mailbox (Netflix) looking for a bit of escapism. Entertainment. Nothing more. But, there are times when the relevance of a movie to my own life is frighteningly accurate. Sometimes a film, though not mirroring my world, carries with it a message that haunts me… residing in my mind for days, weeks or months following its viewing. Motion pictures are, quite obviously, subjective. I don’t expect all of humanity to hear and understand the same significance that I do in a film I adore. As a matter of fact, I don’t assume others will even enjoy a movie that has touched my soul. This is part of the beauty of being human. We see things differently and films are, without question, a primarily visual experience.

Here is a small sampling of a few films that have been relevant… made me sit up and pay attention… forced me to face the world for what it is… or, quite simply, changed my life in some indefinable manner. I think this entry will also serve as a springboard for a NEW BLOG where I can post my musings about film exclusively. I’ll try to do this without major spoilage. I’d hate to give something away.

Into the Wild (2007)
Tagline: Your great adventure on Alaska
There are no words for how hard this movie hit me. No words at all. It was so intense, in fact, that I have only watched it one time. I was impressed enough to
write a quick blog post. I do intend to revisit it. Someday soon, perhaps. Do I want to give up everything in my life and venture into the Alaskan wilderness? In reality? No. In theory? Yes.



“The core of mans' spirit comes from new experiences.”

“When you want something in life, you just gotta reach out and grab it.”

“It should not be denied that being footloose has always exhilarated us. It is associated in our minds with escape from history and oppression and law and irksome obligations. Absolute freedom. And the road has always led west.”


“Some people feel like they don’t deserve love. They walk away quietly into empty spaces, trying to close the gaps of the past.”

Inside I’m Dancing (2004)
Tagline: Live life like you mean it.
I went through a “I’m going to watch everything in the James McAvoy filmography” phase and Inside I’m Dancing (aka: Rory O’Shea Was Here) made me laugh and made me cry and left me in awe of life. Primarily it is a tale of independence and youth and freedom and rebellion and friendship. The two main characters just happen to be disabled. More people need to see this movie.



"Parakeets don't mate with armadillos. That' the end of it."

“Oh, it's the truth you want, is it? Okay, here's some. If you want to be equal, then you have to show people the same respect that you demand of them! In the real world, if you insult some guy in a pub, you expect to get hammered! If you come home in the middle of the night, you don't expect to find the help waiting in and if a woman says no to you, you accept that maybe you're not the right man for her. You don't assume you have an automatic right to love because you're in a wheelchair!”


Hope Floats (1998)
Tagline: When life fell apart, love fell into place.
I know. This one is so hopelessly mainstream and chick flickie. Context: It came out the summer my marriage imploded (the first time) and the parallels were startling. There was infidelity involved. I moved to live with my parents… taking our child with me. I went through a sizeable depression and I desperately wished (at the time) for someone from my past to swoop in and, in essence, rescue me from my circumstances. But, as we all know, life usually does not mimic film. Still, I saw the movie probably three or four times in the theater. It drew me in like moth to flame and I kept going back.



“Once upon a time your mama knew what it meant to shine.”

“Childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome. That's what momma always says. She says that beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will... ”

“People fall in love. They fall right back out. It happens all the time.”


(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Tagline: This is not a love story. This is a story about love.
Finally! A movie with a spot on portrayal of relationships as opposed to the happy-go-lucky crap Hollywood usually shoves in our faces. No punches are pulled and the narrator lays it out straight from the very beginning: “This is a story of boy meets girl. The boy, Tom Hansen of Margate, New Jersey, grew up believing that he'd never truly be happy until the day he met the one. This belief stemmed from early exposure to sad British pop music and a total misreading of the movie 'The Graduate'. The girl, Summer Finn of Shinnecock, Michigan, did not share this belief. Since the disintegration of her parent's marriage she'd only love two things. The first was her long dark hair. The second was how easily she could cut it off and not feel a thing. Tom meets Summer on January 8th. He knows almost immediately she is who he has been searching for. This is a story of boy meets girl, but you should know upfront, this is not a love story.” There is snark. There is love. There is sarcasm. There is obsession. There is truth.



“People don't realize this, but loneliness is underrated.”

“I guess I just figured, why make something disposable, like a building, when you can make something that last forever, like a greeting card.”

Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
Critic: “Like a dream, Howl’s Moving Castle, enfolds the audience and carries them to a magical world beyond their imaginations.” ~Charles Solomon, Animation Critic/Historian
Who control’s your destiny? Are you bound by some unnamed curse or are you master of your own life? I can’t even begin to detail the number of common recurring themes that run through this film. Beauty is only skin deep. Be the master of your own fate. The list is rather extensive. Obviously, these are themes that we continue to need in our lives. Yes, it is an animated film. Don’t let that deter you.



“When you're old, all you want to do is stare at the scenery. It's so strange. I've never felt so peaceful before.”

“After the war, they won't recall they ever were human.”

“I feel terrible, like there's a weight on my chest. A heart's a heavy burden.”

Meet Joe Black (1998)
Tagline: He's Expecting You.
I’m not even a big Brad Pitt fan, but this movie… It. Gets. To. Me. The film was far from successful at the box office. In fact, most people scoff when they discover that I love it. True, it is not cinematic brilliance. It is, however, a story that I’m glad someone decided to tell.



“Love is passion, obsession, someone you can't live without. If you don't start with that, what are you going to end up with? Fall head over heels. I say find someone you can love like crazy and who'll love you the same way back. And how do you find him? Forget your head and listen to your heart. I'm not hearing any heart. Run the risk, if you get hurt, you'll come back. Because, the truth is there is no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love - well, you haven't lived a life at all. You have to try. Because if you haven't tried, you haven't lived.”

“I want you to sing with rapture and dance like a dervish.”

“Don't blow smoke up my ass, it will ruin my autopsy.”


Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
Tagline: Before they could stand together, they had to stand alone.
Ah, John Hughes… you captured moody teen angst so well. Pretty in Pink? Not for me. Sixteen Candles? Meh. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Genius. Weird Science? Weird. The Breakfast Club? Poignant. But this… Some Kind of Wonderful was my movie. “Why?” you ask. Simple. In 1987 I was in junior high and I had a terrible crush on a boy one grade ahead. He wanted nothing to do with me. I know because I asked him out on one of our lame boarding school weekend movie nights. I was short and painfully skinny and I was teased for many a thing including my stringy, straw-like hair. It was also a well-known fact that I was scrappy and could probably take on any boy close to my age… and win. I was a tomboy. And in this movie the tomboy gets the guy. THE TOMBOY! It was, though silly, a life-altering concept for me. For the record, four years later… I got that boy I’d crushed on in junior high and he was far hotter than Eric Stoltz, believe you me.



“Well, I like art. I work in a gas station. My best friend is a tomboy. These things don't fly too well in the American high school.”

“Keith: You can't tell a book by its cover. Watts: No, but you can tell how much it's gonna cost you.”


Romeo and Juliet (1968)
Tagline: No ordinary love story...
It was ninth grade English class. It was the first time I had read a play. It was the first time I had read Shakespeare. I was enamored and I strongly felt that I was being gypped by only seeing the words on the page. Oh, our teacher had made us read aloud certain passages but we were ill-equipped. It was so inadequate. And then, when we were finished reading the play, she brought out the VCR. I’ll never forget it. It was strongly edited for my super-conservative Christian boarding school, but that didn’t matter to me. The Bard and I began a love affair that is still going strong. Thank you, Franco Zeffirelli. Thank you, Mrs. Bowers.



“Love give me strength.”

“Thus with a kiss I die.”

[I thought I’d keep the quotes simple on that one.]

Dead Poets Society (1989)
Tagline: He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary.
Carpe Diem! Seize the Day! You know you wanted John Keating as your teacher. Well, maybe not, but I certainly did. I was only fifteen, but I desperately wanted an educator so immersed in the written word that he/she lived it and breathed it and felt its power. This film celebrates art, literature and meaningful living. It teaches that going against the grain is a beautiful thing.



"Sucking all the marrow out of life doesn't mean choking on the bone."

“We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

The Lake House (2006)
Tagline: How do you hold on to someone you’ve never met?
This is a love story. The tale is told through the correspondence between two people who occupy two different times. A key prop (so to speak) is a copy of Jane Austen’s Persuasion which is my favorite of her novels. It, too, is a story of two people separated by circumstances beyond their control. I have spent a lot of my life separated from those I love and care about. It is part and parcel of the whole ‘Third Culture Kid’ (Google it.) gig though I wouldn’t trade my upbringing for anything. Something about this film and the way the story was told… the actors narrating the hand written letters they are writing to one another… I can’t describe it.



“Life is not a book, Alex. It can be over in a second.”

“One man I can never meet. Him, I would like to give my whole heart to.”




I could continue. There are more: Gladiator, Casablanca, Out of Africa, My Fair Lady, The Shawshank Redemption, The Phantom of the Opera, etc. What about you? Which film has touched your soul? It doesn’t have to be an award winning movie. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be good. Look at my list. I promise not to laugh. Please, share.

“Every time I go to a movie, it’s magic, no matter what the movie’s about.” ~Steven Spielberg

Perplexing Ponderings



It’s no secret. My mind is not a quiet place. Sometimes I wish it would shut the hell up. Never. It never does. My ponderings, however, are not always deep and dark and melancholic and personal. Sometimes my thoughts are quite frivolous. Silly, actually. I am often easily confused by the most mundane trivialities this world has to offer. “Like what?” you ask. I’m so glad you inquired for I have a list. Yes, another one.

“Quiet minds can't be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.” ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Bread pudding
Why the hell would you subject perfectly good rum (or brandy) to such an abomination of an existence? Is stale bread that enticingly appetizing to you or do you merely subscribe to the belief that liquor makes everything better? Old loaves do serve a purpose and we have parks for that… with pigeons… or ducks. Feed the birds that penicillin in the making. Drink your rum.

Stuffed Animals In Car Windows
If you are old enough to drive or, more importantly, old enough to own your own vehicle then you are way too damn old to drive around with your fantasy Beanie Baby collection shoved into the back window of your car where they sit eerily staring at passerby with big blank eyes screaming, “Get me the f*ck out of here!”

Paris Hilton
Enough already. Stop. All of it. Go live in one of daddy’s hotels and never come out.

Algebra
I haven’t applied even the most basic of algebraic equations since the last math class I took in college which, incidentally, was a required course. Before that I hadn’t used the stuff since Algebra I and Algebra II in high school. Remind me again why we mathematically challenged “I’m smart enough to know I’m not smart enough in math to choose a numerically based career” individuals were forced to learn this shit when we have calculators and Microsoft Excel gladly willing to do the hard part for us. If the soul purpose for such asininity was for me to have the feigned ability to help my teenager with his algebra homework then I think we can consider that an epic fail.

Sluts In Training
Why is your six-year-old dressed like a Pussycat Doll? Way to give her high aspirations, mom. Don’t come bitching to me in ten years when she comes home with her belly button pierced and wears as little clothing as humanly possible and asks you for breast implants and you’ve lost all control regarding where she goes and who she chooses to hang out with. Why do you have an air of surprise in your voice?

Southern Colloquialisms
Don’t tell me, “It’s a cultural thing.” I live in the South. There is no excuse for some of the phrases I hear on a daily basis. No wonder people wrongly assume that all southerners are stupid or redneck or trailer trash when a majority of the people down here include these silly grammar optional phrases (or others of similar origin) in their daily conversation. I will now provide you with a random sampling. I will not, however, translate. I’m going to assume that, if you are reading this, you know how to Google.

That’s slicker than owl shiiiiit.
Woo! I’m full as a tick.
That boy/girl done been beat with an ugly stick.
I’m a gonna jerk a knot in yer tail.
Now, don’t go gettin yer panties in a twist.
Who the Sam Hill is that?
I don’t know about all ya’ll.
Sure as shootin’ you did!
It’s colder than a witch’s tit in a brass bra!
I sure do have a hankering for some of that.
Yer plum outta kilter.

In truth, is it really too much to ask for a little bit of effort in effectively removing these idiocies from common vocabulary? At the very least you could fake it when you travel to a place where they actually speak English.

Genetic Evolution
I firmly believe our children are smarter than we were at whatever respective age they are now. (Read: Little K is far more intelligent than I was at age 9.) Who thought this would be a good idea?

Penguins
When did they become the coolest (unintentional pun) creatures on the planet? Who authorized this? I’m quite sure the penguins themselves had no part in this decision. You know I’m right.

March of the Penguins, Documentary (2005)
Madagascar, Animated Film (2005)
Farce of the Penguins, Mockumentary (2006)
Happy Feet, Animated Film (2006)
Surf’s Up, Animated Film (2007)
3-2-1 Penguins, Animated Morality Cartoon & Films (2007)
Madagascar 2, Animated Film (2008)
Disneynature’s EARTH, Documentary (2009)
The Penguins of Madagascar, Cartoon (2009) [Freakishly funny, I might add!]
Happy Feet 2 in 3D, Animated Film (2011) [Oh, yes, it’s coming.]

Who knew Chilly Willy was years ahead of his time?

Dreams
Yeah, I know. They confuse everyone. I just wanted you to feel somehow included in my madness.

Superstitions
Black cats are stunningly beautiful. I’ve walked underneath many a ladder. Mirrors are made of glass. They break. Friday the 13th is just another random day on the calendar though I usually call it a “lucky day” just to piss off the paranoid. I’ve trodden on many a crack in a sidewalk and my mom’s back is perfectly fine. Why the hell would I want to carry the foot of a dead bunny around with me? Obviously the “lucky horseshoe” was a brilliant moment of propaganda genius created by the blacksmiths of the world to increase revenue. I don’t knock on wood and throwing salt over your shoulder merely serves to create a larger mess to clean up. Any questions?

Blind Dates
Set me up? Not a shot in hell.

People Who Can Sleep Anywhere
I have a hard enough time sleeping at night in my bed for anything remotely close to eight hours. I’m always afraid I am missing something. If I could choose to never sleep, I probably would… except for that whole dream thing mentioned above. I don’t understand them, but the trippy dreams are so enjoyable. Oy! I digress. How can you sleep in an airport? You might miss something. How can you sleep in the car on major road trip? You might miss something. How can you sleep in class? I’m pretty sure you are missing something. WAKE UP, DAMN IT!

Typos
This is 2009. I can forgive you a typo here or a typo there. Hell, I do them myself; however, when I get an email or a memo or a copy of your college paper you want me to proofread before you turn it into your professor, I like to anticipate that you have run the spell check feature of your preferred email provider or word processing program before I’m expected to read whatever it is you have written. There is absolutely no excuse for compositions riddled with spelling errors.

Fear of Flying
You get in your car and drive down narrow roads in your little tin can with wheels. You are an amateur sharing space with millions of other amateurs. Pilots have been trained for years on how to fly. They are all professionals. Would you rather be at the mercy of a bunch of amateurs or in the hands of a professional? There are statistics, by the way. All over the internet you can find official studies that prove air travel is safer than traveling in a vehicle. This
site states that 1/6,800 drivers die in auto accidents each year while the annual death rate for airline passengers is 1/1.16 million. Get in the bloody airplane. Travel to someplace other than your home country. There is far too much ignorance in this world without you adding to it with your silly little phobia.

The Invisible Jet
Wonder Woman has an invisible jet. Cool. Wonder Woman does not turn invisible when she is in her invisible jet which means you can clearly see her flying through the air in a seated position. Oooooh! Stealthy. Not cool. No wonder they (the comic book writer people) finally gave the woman the ability to fly on her own. I bet they hoped we would forget. We have not, my fine fanboy friends.

Don’t ever let it be said that I’m not thinking.

“Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.” ~Christopher Morley

Carpe-ing the Diem


“Despair is the absolute extreme of self-love. It is reached when a man deliberately turns his back on all help from anyone else in order to taste the rotten luxury of knowing himself to be lost.” ~Thomas Morton



Just over a week ago a friend invited me to ride with her to Texarkana to see ‘Julie & Julia’. The trip takes just over an hour so we had plenty of time to talk. I did. Talk, that is. A lot. And then, most surprisingly, I was dealt a strong dose of my own brutally honest medicine. “At some point you just have suck it up… get over it all and live!” she said. Hey! I’ve said those words. Not to myself in a very long time, but I have said them to tons of other people.

She’s right. Of course.

And, then, after finishing this entry and getting prepared to post it, I had an instant message chat with an old friend. Following that conversation I sent him an email about some of the things we discussed. He responded as follows:

“FYI...you are beginning to sound really snide. There is absolutely nothing worse then feigned interest from you friends and few things as abruptly disheartening as hearing (in essence) "im sorry, i am not really interested after all...".”

He’s right. Of course. I answered:

“Point taken. I didn't mean to come across as snide and I really do care what and how you are doing, but I can see how you thought that my inquiries were more flippant than heartfelt. I am sorry. My attitude in general is pretty bad lately and I'm quite sure it carries over into everything, but that is no excuse… [edited bits] … At the same time, I'm terribly self-absorbed right now. Despite the I-don't-give-a-damn-about-anyone-or-anything vibe I have going... you should know me well enough to realize that I feign nothing. I'm too old to play games. I won't ask how you are unless I really do care.”

I was right. I was also very, very wrong. Of course.

Things have not been terribly ideal of late. In fact, life has been pretty shitty… or shittier, I should say. I’ll be the first to admit that I tend to live my life closer to the melancholic than the joyful, but the last two months have been particularly difficult and it would seem I’ve become rather vocal about my problems. Oh, I usually voice my frustrations, just not excessively. Most of the time I am telling myself, “Suck it up! Move on!” and that keeps me from turning into the resident drama queen. Apparently I've been to tired to repeat the mantra in my head. I hate drama.

“I shouldn’t be so upset because life goes on and I should go on with it.” ~The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

So what happened? I cracked. That’s what happened. Everyone has their breaking point and apparently, after 15 years, I reached mine. You read that right. Fifteen years!

It’s hard enough for the average human to learn how to turn off the rollercoaster of self-pity and regret. We all have to live with the consequences of our actions and decisions. Letting go of such self deprecating behavior is nigh impossible, however, when one makes major, life-altering (and not for the better) decisions when one is clinically mentally unstable. I have been open about my struggle with Bipolar Disorder. What not many know is that I spent the summer of 1994 in a full-blown highly self-destructive manic phase. My diagnosis followed a year and a half later, but by then I had already derailed my train. Living with consequences became a reality and much of what has occurred and continues to occur in the avalanche of my life is a direct result of a snowball that started rolling downhill at an alarming rate… 15 years ago.

Every time I have ventured forward… stepped out in faith… in an attempt to better life for me and my children, the sound of slamming doors has followed close behind. Spirits of Marriage Past (not elaborating) have surfaced to haunt me. Is it possible that the fates do not want me to succeed?

I have chatted with counselors and others who are Bipolar and I’m not alone in the battle of regret. It’s common. That doesn’t make me feel any better though. It’s hard to course correct… especially when there is someone in your life actively hindering the improvement process. This makes for far more bad times than good. I have friends (specifically those from childhood or high school) who constantly and consistently tell me how strong I am… how they could never have dealt with some of the situations I have found myself… how they admire the fact that I’ve never given up. Well, friends, reread that quote above. I hit bottom about a month ago. This is not a depression rock bottom (My meds are fine.). I hit an I-don’t-give-a-damn-anymore bottom. For several weeks: I. Gave. Up. I stopped asking for help. No offense to my friends, family, coworkers… God… but, I stopped asking because I wasn’t getting any help anyway. Emotionally? Nope. Spiritually? Obviously not. Financially? Yeah, right. Who could in this economy? I truly felt, and still do (to an extent), as though I had nowhere to turn. And, yes, I found contentment in my self-indulgent misery. I was happy in my unhappiness. Not giving a damn about anything is incredibly freeing… for a time.

I couldn’t write about it then. I can now because I did reach a turning point, hence my birthday post and my pledge that I am just getting my life started (see, Mo, I told you I’d steal your Carpe Diem phrase). I’ve been trying to live… really live… but I also get caught up looking too far into the future. I see where I want to be and I forget to live in the here and now. There are some astoundingly major obstacles that have to be overcome, but I’m the only one who can do this. There are some drastic changes happening within me. I can no longer pretend to care about certain things. My brutal honesty, for those close to me, may become – for a time – a bit more brutal. I may shock you. Toes are bound to be trod on.

"I'm thinking that sometimes you just have to make the decision to be happy. Just realize that things aren't ever what you hoped they'd be. Not ever. For anybody. The only thing that separates one kind of person from another is that there are some who stay angry about it and there are some who accept what comes their way." ~Away From Her, Film (2006)

It’s time for me to choose to be happy. I am far too exhausted to continue being angry at the manic reckless bitch who started the rolling snowball. The avalanche didn’t kill me and I clawed my way to the surface a long time ago. It’s about damn time I felt the sun upon my face… and let my heart thaw.



Never Say Never Again

Disclaimer: If you came here looking for a Bond, James Bond reference… you aren’t going to find it. Actually, here is a Bond lesson for you: That movie has no place in the film franchise. In fact, it *isn’t* part of the official franchise. Worst. Bond. Movie. Ever. I’ll get off that soapbox now and you can wander back to Google or Yahoo or, hell, Bing… wherever you arrived from in the great land of internet search wars and try again. Serves you right. You shouldn’t have searched for that abomination of a movie anyway.


A very good friend recently asked me, seeing as I’ve been single for a while now, if I intend to ever get married again. You have to love a friend that feels secure enough to ask that kind of a question… especially when said friend also knows she will get the brutally honest truth in response. I hadn’t really thought about it, actually, but I had an answer. Of course I did, right?!

Here’s the deal: I want to say that I will never get married again until my kids are, at the very least, out of high school (if ever). I want to say that, but I can’t predict the future. The title of this post serves as a preemptive reminder to never say “never”… that way I will never have to say “never” again. Got it?

Why would I not want to get married again? There are reasons. Yes, I’m going to tell you. One reason is reasonably unselfish (sort of). The other one is pure selfishness (at least I can admit it). Let’s face it; there are only two categories of marriageable men out there for me: 1) The man who has never been married or who is divorced but who NEVER had children and 2) The man who has never been married or who is divorced but who DOES have children. Quite obviously, the operative word in both of those categories is “children.” I know what you’re thinking (she says in her best Magnum P.I. narrative style), “What the hell, Beth? You have your own kids.” Indeed, I do.

“Let me 'splain… No, there is too much. Let me sum up.” ~Princess Bride, Film (1987)

No Children
Who am I to deny a man having his own kids? I have my children. I love my children, but I made sure a long time ago that I would never bear another child. In fact, I had to make sure twice. (Long story. Not elaborating. Yes, it is probably what you are thinking.) Also, I am not adopting any children. I know that seems terribly hypocritical seeing as I am … oh … adopted. The point is that my boys are 14 and 9 in age now. This is a good thing. Baby? Toddler? Pre-schooler? Not for me. Not now. Thank you very much. I know there are men out there who think they don’t want children. Marrying one, however, is risky. What if he changes his mind (and the odds that he eventually would do just that are remarkably high)? Divorce. Again. Meh. Why set myself up for that?

Children (*)
I am not Carol Brady. This is not the Brady Bunch.
The ‘Yours, Mine and Ours’ concept = STRESS!
1) I will be 43 years old when my youngest graduates from high school. That’s young. I intend to make up for my twenty-something years. Why marry a man who has his own children that are younger than or near the same age as my children and deny myself those years of freedom that I’m ready to have? Told you: Selfish. 2) I have been the disciplinarian for my guys since they were born. I don’t know how I would handle someone else stepping in to help me or how I would handle blending discipline styles. Scary stuff. 3) Confession: I generally dislike other people’s children. I know. That’s terrible. There you go.

(*) The one noticeable exception is the man who has children… but they are already out of the house. This scenario is doable, but point #2 still applies.

Never will I marry a man who has not had his own children?
Never will I marry a man who has children?

Never say never.

There is a quote from the movie ‘Meet Joe Black’ directly relating to love and relationships. It lives in the back of my mind constantly… further reminder of how dangerous the word “never” can be when one is hypothesizing about one’s own future:

“You never know. Lightning could strike.”

The Big Moments



I have been to see the film ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ based on the book by Audrey Niffenegger. I have not read the book. I meant to, but my “to read” list is laughably large… especially when one takes into consideration how many other things I have to do in a day. I feel, however, I will have to add this read to my ever growing pile anyway for I am now highly intrigued.

In the story Henry is an involuntary time traveler. He can not choose his destinations. He can not decide when he will disappear out of his current LIFE or where he will end up in his past or his future. The only constant is that he is often (but not always) revisits what can only be described as the “big moments”: the death of his mother, the day he meets the girl who will become his greatest love, etc. A force not unlike gravity continuously pulls him back to those places in time… those seconds that feel like an eternity and can never be forgotten. He, now the spectator, relives them as they were because he can not change what already occurred.

"He said something interesting: he said that he thinks there is only free will when you are in time, in the present. He says in the past we can only do what we did, and we can only be there if we were there." ~Audrey Niffenegger

Truthfully, while I did enjoy the film, once this fact of Henry’s time jumping was revealed I found it difficult to concentrate on all but one thing:

I’ve been working my way through this game we call “LIFE” and I’ve had my fair share of moments… big and small… good and bad. School. Marriage. Kids. Jobs. Home. Bankruptcy. Foreclosure. Divorce. I haven’t, however, collected any major accomplishment LIFE tiles along my game board. I haven’t written the great American novel. I haven’t found the cure for the common cold. I haven’t won the Nobel Peace Prize. I haven’t discovered a new planet and I haven’t, thank God, become president. And, I think it is quite obvious at this point that I will not be retiring to Millionaire Estates.

In looking back, were I to time travel to my past, what would be my big moments? What would I be forced to relive all while looking in as an outsider? What would be the ratio of good moments to bad? If I could select my moments, I would. I have a few that need… clarification. Did they truly happen as I recall them or has my imagination glorified a few and played down others in order to preserve my own sanity? Would I find (and I’m quite sure I would) that what was a big moment for me was only a blip on the radar of the other LIFE players on the board?

“It is singular how soon we lose the impression of what ceases to be constantly before us. A year impairs, a luster obliterates. There is little distinct left without an effort of memory, then indeed the lights are rekindled for a moment - but who can be sure that the Imagination is not the torch-bearer?” ~Lord Byron

LIFE’s big moments. What are yours?

Madame Preside… Pfffft! Yeah, Right!


At 0347 today (Yes, I was born in the middle of the night. Hello? Vampire.) I will officially be old enough to run for the office of The President of the United States of America. Don’t worry. I won’t. Although, perhaps if I had pursued such aspirations earlier in life then I wouldn’t find myself in such a funk (and Redneck Hell, USA) today. Oh. Wait. A president did come from here, didn’t he? Never mind. Irrelevant. I digress. Where was I? Oh yeah … funk.

It is true. I am in a funk. It’s not about my age. Birthdays come and go. I can’t stop time. The clock cannot be reversed. Age is relative. I might as well just go with the flow, right? Well… I lie. A little. My funk is indirectly related to my age for this simple fact:

I had a list of things to do before I turned 35.

Not a tangible list, mind you. Never written down. Never voiced. Forever fluid and highly malleable, the list has resided in the recesses of my highly unstable bipolar mind. But, it existed. And, here I am. I have reached the age of thirty-five and I’ve failed miserably at most of the items on that list. Not all, but most. I try to remind myself that there are some rather substantial extenuating circumstances that contributed greatly to that failure but as valid and unchangeable as those factors are… they still feel like excuses. I hate excuses. Hell, I hate failure… hence, the funk.

[To my hardcore Christian God-has-a-plan-for-you friends: You might want to stop reading now. If you choose to continue, well… you know not to preach to me, right? Remember, I know all the “right” answers.]

This life that I am living… this isn’t how it was supposed to play out. I am supposed to have it all figured out by now. My existence, and subsequently that of my children, should be more stable and defined. I don’t think God wants me to live like this (No, I will not elaborate.). And, if He does… if this is God’s grand plan for my life? Well, then God and I have bigger problems than I thought. Yes, I still believe in God.

A quote I have been hoarding for two years, just for this particular birthday:

“When you’re five, you know your age down to the month. Even in your twenties you know how old you are. I’m twenty-three, you say, or maybe twenty-seven. But then in your thirties something strange starts to happen. It’s a mere hiccup at first, an instant of hesitation. How old are you? Oh, I’m – you start confidently, but then you stop. You were going to say thirty-three, but you’re not. You’re thirty-five. And then you’re bothered, because you wonder if this is the beginning of the end. It is, of course, but it is decades before you admit it.” ~Sara Gruen, Water for Elephants

The beginning of the end? I sure as hell hope not. Watch out, because I will bust out of here and…

I. AM. JUST. GETTING. STARTED.

My Watermelon Moment


“Nice Boat!” I said to a fairly attractive man as I crossed the resort parking lot Friday afternoon on my way to my vehicle. As soon as the words escaped my lips I knew it was quite evident to Mr. Handsome that I didn’t know a damn thing about boats. Just because a boat looks powerful and has a nice paint job doesn’t mean it actually is, indeed, a “nice boat.” Polite flirting fail. I might as well have uttered, “Oooooh! **giggle** Shiny!” I think it would have had the same effect.

You can't say mom didn't try! She kept putting me in dresses.

I realized quite some time ago that the ‘Motorized Vehicle’ chapter of my Tomboy Handbook had obviously been ripped out by someone (probably my brother) who was concerned that I would reach womanhood without a shred of femininity if drastic measures were not taken. Either that or I was too occupied with far more important pastimes such as climbing many a tree, rolling in the mud, setting traps for unsuspecting wildlife or beating the shite out of the boys at free-for-all-rugby to pay attention to the mechanical workings of planes, trains, automobiles and, quite evidently, boats. Oh, I can manage basic vehicular upkeep. I know the process required to change the oil in my truck. I don’t. Why bother when someone else can do it so much better… and in less than 10 minutes? I can and have changed many a tire. Still, I’d rather not. If some chivalrous individual moseys along and offers to change it for me… well, yes sir… I do need some help. And, just this year, I taught myself how to change the spark plugs. These things, however, do not qualify me to speak on the subject with any intelligence or authority.

You would think this knowledge would be enough to prohibit me from attempting to bring motor vehicles like… say BOATS… into polite conversation. Wrong. I should have simply said, “Hi!” or wished him a pleasant stay or to have a good weekend. No. That would have been far too easy… and logical. It’s like that scene in ‘Dirty Dancing’ (Yes, I’m going to quote a chick flick. Back off!) where Jennifer Grey, obviously a bit struck by Patrick Swayze’s sexy dancing awesomeness, looks at him at first introduction and mumbles the line that makes every woman cringe:

“I carried a watermelon.”

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