And... I Still Have No Gills

Photo © Rupert Hitchcox

“Ocean: A body of water occupying two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.” ~Ambrose Bierce

I hate cheerleaders. Okay, fine. “Hate” is a little strong. I have a general dislike for cheerleaders. Then again, I’m not here to talk pep squad… except that I am here to throw my own voice into the “Rah! Rah! Yay EARTH!” chorus… which indirectly makes me a cheerleader for the planet and, though I adore the planet, I hate (No, really. Hate.) that particular association. I should delete this whole paragraph. Mmmm… nah. This is me, people. I’m always like this.

You want to know something even more disturbing? Not only am I not here to discuss cheerleading, I’m not really here to talk about global warming either… or how Mother Earth is supremely pissed at humanity… or how desperately I want to hug
Leonardo DiCaprio because he cares about my Mt. Kilimanjaro and is using his fame for good. Like I need an ecological excuse to want to hug the new, improved, super sexy, manly Leo… but I digress. Again.

My point is this: I’m damn cold.

Shall I connect the dots before the grey matter within my noggin’ runs amok again?

I love this planet.
I believe in global warming.
I’m a cheerleader for all things “recycle”, “green”, and “make a change”.

But…

(Funny how there is always a “but”, huh?!)

…I am, and will always be, a complete and absolute failure at water conservation. I have lived where periods of mandatory reduction of water usage was dictated... necessary… where the water supply was cut off throughout the city for all but one or two hours a day. Pardon me while I shudder at the memories.

But, now, I live in a first world country that I sometimes loathe. A country that, for all its faults, provides me with a seemingly endless supply of clean water. It’s a crime that millions of people on this planet have no clean water or any water… when our planet IS water. This is the part where I tell the rest of you to conserve all the water you possibly can… so that there is always enough for me. I know. I’m a terrible person. I won’t be winning a humanitarian award anytime soon ever. I simply cannot give up water.

I love it.

I love water inside my body. I cherish the sweet nectar that is a tall glass of freezing cold water laden with a mountain of ice cubes. Oh, how I love ice. Crushed ice. Yep, I’m a crushed ice cruncher. Make of that what you will. I may never leave my current job simply because the greatest crushed ice maker in the world (slight exaggeration) is located there.

I love water on my body. I want to live near the ocean and dive in it daily. I like to play in streams, rivers (sans carnivorous reptiles, hungry hungry hippos or elephant poop), waterfalls, swimming pools, fountains and even lakes… although lake and pond waters are my least favorite forms of the substance of life. Followed by snow. I really, really hate snow. It snowed this week. I was in hell. A cold, hard hell. Oh, and tears. I find tears are decidedly not in my favor. There is a reason “tear” is a homonym. “That salty substance pouring out of your eyeballs” often has a lot to do with “that ripping sound coming from the organ in your chest”. (Don’t mind me. Digressing again.)

I adore showers and baths. Long showers. Full baths. Scalding hot water. Once, twice… multiple times a day. I shower to get clean. I read in the shower. I sleep in the shower. I bathe to relax. I shower or bathe post-workout. I shower to escape my children. I bathe to get warm. Oh, yes… my point.

Remember my point? Up at the top. Below the babble. Well, below the really out-of-control babble. Whatever. “I’m damn cold.”

Every winter I find myself wishing I was a tropical mermaid (Distinction needed. Have you seen those uber-cold loch water, nasty Harry Potter mermaids?) living in the “
Great Blue Hole". (Click the link. It isn’t anything naughty. I swear.) Then I wonder if mermaids suffer from dry skin. On their top halves, that is… not the scales. I might as well have scales because my skin positively hates (no exaggeration) me right now.

Yes, now. I should probably mention here that I’m in the bathtub. Now. Yep. I got in here specifically to get warm... hence the topic inspiration. No, I’m not a chronically cold-natured person. My equatorial blood simply cannot handle northern hemisphere winter. Yes, I have the computer with me. Sort of. In my small ass apartment the toilet is close enough for me to sit in the bath and type on the laptop sitting atop the toilet seat.

Sometimes I put it on the edge anyway.
One day it will fall in.
I’ll be super warm that day.
And dead.

Then the cheerleaders can laugh at me.

As I Dream

The Dream, Henri Rousseau, Museum of Modern Art

“We live as we dream -- alone.” ~Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness

When I lay me down to sleep, my mind involuntarily latches on to one of four or five rather elaborate fictional realities which have been created by my imagination. Fantasies, for a lack of more befitting word; however, they are far less blatantly erotic than the word “fantasy” suggests. And, if I let my subconscious fall deep enough into the fabrication, then I can often manipulate my dreams into the same story. While this is something I have done for most of my life, I have come to realize that I am doing it more often of late.

I feel far less alone when I do.


Confession of a Reformed Award Show Junkie


“It isn't about the prize. It's about the gloating, the rubbing the nose in, the ‘nya-na-na-na-na-we-beat-you’ taunting that comes with the winning.” ~Chicken Little, Film (2005)

I like to see people win things. A lot.
I’m also a bit of a pop culture addict; therefore, the televised award show was once my crack. There was a time when I watched them all. No, seriously… All. Of. Them. Ask my ex. Better yet, don’t.

You may think there are a lot of award shows on television but you really have no idea... unless you suffer/have suffered from the addiction. It is real and it is powerful. At some indeterminate point in the last four years I unconsciously broke myself of the habit. For the most part.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived at work the other day and office chatter revolved around this year’s The People’s Choice Awards… which I didn’t watch. I knew it was on. Vaguely. I generally have a beef, however, with “The People” in that title. For example, “The People” voted the latest Twilight flick as the best movie of 2010. Uh huh. Yeah. Those people need a collective clunking together of their heads. There is also the little detail about how “The Industry” doesn’t really give a damn what “The People” think. Case in point: Moonlight. Voted ‘Best New TV Drama’ for 2007 by “The People”… I was part of “The People” that year… it was cancelled six months later courtesy of the writer’s strike of 2008 and industry bureaucracy.


I’d just like to point out here that “The People” voted another Alex O’Loughlin headlined series, the revamped (Heh. Heh. Vamped.) Hawaii Five-0, as the ‘Best New TV Drama’ for 2010 (I checked out the winner list online.). I may threaten bodily harm to certain industry executives if this show goes the way of Moonlight. Seriously. I love it. I love it more than I love my one season of Moonlight. That’s a lot. Yes, I have a TV problem. Bite me. Mild tangent over.



I don’t trust the opinion of “The People” but there are still a handful of awards shows that I do watch. Some faithfully. Some not. This award season I’ll be watching The Golden Globes. I don’t think the Hollywood Foreign Press should be handing out awards but the show itself is usually rather entertaining due to silly celebrity behavior. I may or may not watch The Grammy Awards. I’ve had a great distaste for popular music of late but the nominations for Mumford & Sons gives me hope for the music industry. That leaves me with The Screen Actors Guild Awards, The Academy Awards and, maybe, The Emmy Awards.

Watching four, perhaps five, awards shows a season? That’s light. Okay, so maybe I’m still mildly obsessive. But, in the midst of the entire “the winner is” hullabaloo there are usually moments of pure, real, unedited humanity… good and bad, silly and serious, genuine and fabricated. Of course, there is always the inner devilish hope that someone trips or falls on stage. That being said, The Golden Globes are this Sunday.

Is it worth it? Two words, one name: Ricky Gervais

Between Point A & Point B


I drive a combination of street to interstate to scenic highway on my fifteen mile drive to work… usually on auto-pilot since I have to be there at 0730 and I typically don’t truly wake up until 10-ish. No traffic, mind you. We’ll just chalk that up to one of the positives of small town life. On the way home I typically drive the slightly more leisurely route of scenic highway straight into town… right-left-right-left home. Thrilling, eh? I’d shake it up a little more if I could, but unless I want to wander through “Do I hear a banjo?” country or meander up and down a couple of extra streets just for the hell of it then this little bit of routine in my life isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

Hence, it bores me.
I don’t like to be bored.

I decided this week to pay more attention to things on my drive to and fro. I don’t have a Bubba-will-run-over-me-with-his-big-damn-truck death wish therefore literally stopping to smell the roses is not an option. Not to mention, it’s winter. There aren’t any roses. Hell, there are no roses any time of year.

Pine trees? Yes.
Yards all a-clutter with broken vehicles? Yes.
Barney Fife? Yes.
River? Yes.
The highest gas prices in the state? Yes.
Livestock auction barn? Yes.
The occasional spectacular sunrise? Yes.
Dead skunks? Yes.
Shoe hanging on power line? Yes.
Soy bean field? Yes.
New taco stand brilliantly located right next to Taco Bell? Yes.
Billboards? Yes.
Crystal shop? Yes.
Deer? Yes.
Wal-bloody-Mart? Yes.
Damn, I wish we still had a Piggly Wiggly.
I just wanted to write the words “Piggly Wiggly”.
SQUIRREL!!!

Roses? Not so much.

Also, a hefty portion of my drive involves crossing a dyke [see picture]. It is way too far down from highway to lake water on one side and way, way, way too far down to the valley on the other. I dread breaking down on the damn thing or getting a flat tire. The last thing I need is thoughts of me and car tumbling to our deaths, though I do keep a screwdriver in the car (to break the window) in the God-forbid, off chance that I get run off the road one day and into the lake. Crap! I’m thinking about it. Purge! Purge! Purge!

Still, my drive trumps toll booths and bumper-to-bumper traffic and smog and crazy taxi drivers and even earlier mornings due to the battle that must be fought in order to reach the office. I know it trumps all those things because, in that other lifetime of mine, I robotically did the traffic thing… every single morning… every single evening.

I miss the conveniences of the city.
Sometimes I even miss having a real career.
The commute I do not miss.

“Some of the secret joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by inventing some imaginary letters along the way.” ~Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You


Impossible is Nothing


For better or worse, I like to write my own stuff. Imagine that. So, while I will link to a few things here or there, I can only think of one instance, in four years, where I’ve sent any passing readers off in another direction to read the words of someone else instead of addressing a topic myself. That being said, you MUST GO HERE and READ THIS as soon as possible.

How ‘bout a snippet?


“There is literally no person on earth who hasn't been seriously effected by the word "impossible", for better, or worse. And there isn't a person on earth who, at some point, has let the word stop them.

Yet, every so often... somebody chooses not to hear it. Every so often, unexplainable things happen which leave people and professionals shaking their heads in bafflement. Every so often the word is passed around, and somebody decides that they are going to make possible whatever they were just told is impossible. And magically, the universe, or God, lines things up that shouldn't have ever been "possible" at all.

Then, and only then do we witness the impossible happen.”



Stop dawdling here and just GO READ IT!

Email it.
Share it.
Like it.
Tweet it.
Digg it.
Stumble it.

Tattoo it on your back.

Whatever.

I dare you to not be inspired by the impossible.


"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing." ~Muhammad Ali

Word of the Year: 2011

Before the Mirror, Pierre-Paul-Léon Glaize, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

As my initial foray into the world of
a word for the year was a spectacular sham, you would think that I wouldn’t partake of such an exercise again. You would be half right. I didn’t intend to participate. In fact, I had not given the concept conscious thought; but, true to form, my brain had other ideas and I have discovered myself using one word over and over and over again during the last three days…

PRIDE

I thought about using “dignity” or “honor” or “satisfaction” because the word “pride” conjures up a bit of guilt ingrained from thousands of Sunday School lessons geared toward the evils of pride. The Bible, of course, differentiates between “arrogant pride” and “pride in a job well done”. It would have been lovely if those teachers had done the same. So, yes, my selection is purposeful. I want to feel pride. Pride. Pride. Pride. Good pride.

On New Year’s Eve I went by a local chain clothing store to pick out part of an outfit for the evening’s festivities. I don’t often buy clothing for myself. One: I hate shopping. Two: It isn’t in the budget. Three: I hate shopping. But, with everything 50% off and my wardrobe really beginning to look more than a little bedraggled, I thought a piece or two on sale was worth the expense. Let’s just say the total was about just a bit more than double what I intended to pay upon walking into the store. I knew this at checkout but chose to slide that debit card through the payment machine and leave the store with my new purchases as opposed to asking the clerk to put back an item or two... which I perceived as an embarrassment.

Bad pride. Bad girl, Beth. Bad.

What I need is to regain/retain personal pride in certain areas of my life.
I don’t want to just “be proud”; I want to “have pride”. It’s a subtle distinction but an important one. I want to OWN my pride… my Kingdom of Selfdom.

I want to have personal pride in myself as a mother. (On the up and up.)
I want to have personal pride in my work. (Never much of a problem.)
I want to have personal pride comfort pride in my body.
I want to have personal pride in my home.
I want to have personal pride in managing my finances.
I want to have personal pride in how I live each day.
I want to have personal pride in writing & journaling.
I want to have personal pride as a woman. (Still recovering.)

Good pride.

“Pride is a personal commitment. It is an attitude which separates excellence from mediocrity.” ~William Blake

Musings on Success


I have a fear.
Me.

I have been accomplished.
I have fed off success.
It was fleeting.
But, in that time, I hungered for it.

I have seen, in the smallest of doses, that which I am capable of accomplishing when I give 100% of myself. It’s frightening. And… somewhere along the way I bowed to that fear.

Giving in to fear is easy.
Embracing success is formidable.

Accepting the power of oneself is fear personified.

“She knows there's no success like failure
And that failure's no success at all.”
~Bob Dylan


LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin