Posts Tagged With: writing

hey there!

Hi, hi, hi!

Shout out to the 7 or so Outlook users who started following my blog in the last couple of weeks.

Thanks, people, but really, does anyone still even use Outlook?

Whatever. I’m still here. Really. Sort of. I am.

Categories: Uncategorized, words | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

push

Why do we push

ourselves and others

into places we don’t really

want to go; corners we

can’t get out of?

I’m sitting on my couch, trying to drink my cup of tea before it cools, can’t even seem to manage that anymore. It’s 4:56am and it’s decaf. I’ve been awake about an hour and a half. HardWorker’s alarm is going off for the third time. The cat has already been out and in again. Fourth time. Just get the f@ck up, already! There’s little crawling scratchy noises coming from my living room ceiling — I’ve been hearing that for weeks — fifth time — and I’ve pretty much given up trying to figure out what it is. My tea is cold.

You know those things we join — those groups, those challenges, (sixth time) those write/draw/photograph/post/seventh time/plank/squat/whatever things we’ve all seen and been “challenged” to do and probably agreed to or signed on for? Why?? EIGHTH TIME.

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t need another thing to fail at; some other task I *seriously, just get up! ninth time* can’t complete. What is it about “human nature” that makes us put ourselves through these things? ‘Cause I’m pretty damn sure it’s not in my actual nature to complete anything — gestation aside — and yet I say ‘yes’ and join in. I have, on occasion, tried to get others to sign up.

It must have stopped snowing; seems darker out than it did two hours ago.

I mean, look, I’m here writing this incoherent meandering post (which

I probably won’t finish) instead of lying in bed sleeping because that’s just another challenge

I have failed at. By the way, if the formatting on this ends up being disjointed as well as the train of thought, that’s down to the stupidity of iOs and or app developers who are constantly updating games and shit but can’t seem to figure out how to make a page scroll above a keyboard. And why doesn’t the WP app recognize what has been written/edited/saved in WP in a browser?

But I digress. Here’s the thing: I stopped wearing my fitbit because I suck at remembering to put it back on after I shower, and most of the steps I take during the day are done with something (like a laundry basket) in my arms so they don’t ever seem to exist, and I already know how poorly

I am sleeping, thank you,

I don’t need you to remind me.

Even my favourite Spider Solitaire game decided to do an update that now has it keeping count of and displaying HOW MANY GAMES I’VE ABANDONED IN THE LAST SEVEN DAYS. Seriously. Who actually thought *that* was a critical piece of information that needed to be added???

Have I mentioned I’ve been awake since about 3:17??

On a side note: if *boyfriend* jeans and t-shirts and socks and whatever else is/are being designed and tailored for women, THEY’RE NOT REALLY *BOYFRIEND* CLOTHES ANYMORE.

And also, my grocery store has joined the ever-growing ranks of establishments offering healthy snacks instead of cookies to children who can’t make it through the shopping trip without a treat. (Why not adults? I took a clementine last week — sue me.) They even have a sign up: HEY KID’S, ENJOY A HEALTHY SNACK WHILE SHOPPING! Well, actually, they now have a sign up with the apostrophe circled and a little note beside it saying, “no apostrophe needed”. Oh, shit, I just remembered that last week I corrected a sign in another store that was drawing attention to the table of “STATIONARY” they were trying to unload. Some days I am not fit for human consumption .

I’m going to reheat my tea now. Good morning!

Categories: NaBloPoMo, NaNoPoblano, Sleep, Uncategorized, words | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

poetry on a monday

I think I’m calling this one drowning.

windows open,
autumn breeze;
all the air
but i can’t breathe.
something’s wrong,
i feel it here.
for far too long
i’ve been living in fear —
things that happen,
things that don’t.
what if payment’s due
like some bad loan?
stop. take a breath.
need to slow it down.
4 count in and 4 count out;
’cause if i can’t control it
i may just drown.

Categories: NaBloPoMo, NaNoPoblano, poetry, Uncategorized, words | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

day three

So it’s the 3rd of November, which makes it day three (3) of this #NaBloPoMo or #NaNoPoblano thing I’ve signed on for. I’m still here. **YAY!!**

I’ve decided that in addition to committing to posting an entry every day, I am committing to removing one bag or box of stuff out of my house every day this month. I am, sadly, already one day behind on this, but today’s bag was large, had a grocery-bag add-on, and also a separate stack of boys’ jeans to go with it. So, in essence, that was two days’ worth. Truth.

There is a lot of excess stuff in my house. I’m not sure why I hang on to certain things. Some of it I can explain away — my Opa’s pipe, my dad’s jacket from when he was a butler/handyman, many of BlueEyes‘ things — but other things are really not necessary. How many fancy beer glasses can anyone really need? Might it be possible to consolidate all of the scribblings on countless scraps of paper into one notebook? Do we have to keep ALL of BoyGenius’ stuffed toys?

I guess what it all comes down to is remembering that I am a work in progress, I am perfectly imperfect, and my life is ever evolving. Or as a famous fish once said, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.”

Categories: family, loss, memories, NaBloPoMo, NaNoPoblano, parenting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m going to stop

For a long time, I didn’t watch the news.

For a long time before that, I did. It was the 10 or 11 o’clock precursor to bedtime. It meant the end of the day; time to see what had happened in the world, in the country, in the neighbourhood. Then, a few years ago, I had a baby. I think that’s when I first stopped watching the news — new baby, no sleep, oddly timed feedings/pumpings, etc., etc. Then when I tried to go back to it I could no longer stomach it. It was bad news most of the time and it really stressed me out. So I stopped.

I did alright without watching the news. If there was something big happening I was sure to hear about it anyway, whether it was on the radio in the car, in the schoolyard, or on the tv at McDonald’s. HardWorker still watched the all-day headline broadcast channel before she left for work or before bed, ostensibly to check the weather or the traffic. Whatever I did happen to see annoyed me no end and it wasn’t just the content. Not a single commentator seemed able to read the sheets that were in front of them without stumbling over names, dates, locations, or the basic tenets of the english language. They make me crazy. I try to stay away from it if at all possible.

I found I was able to stay fairly stress free (news-wise) and life was good. Facebook was something I had discovered and joined years ago (after abandoning my mySpace page) and I enjoyed keeping up with family and friends from around the globe. New babies, vacation pictures, familial losses, even making new friends; it was all at my fingertips. I even joked with other school parents at SCC meetings that if the news wasn’t accompanied by kitten videos on Huffington Post it meant nothing to me. Then it all changed. People started regarding the Huffington Post as a real “newspaper”. The major networks all have Facebook pages, as do all of their regional stations. All the Posts and Times and Gazettes are there as are numerous weekly or monthly magazines. People quote Twitter on their FB pages and link to just about everything that gets published anywhere. It’s too much. Too much to read. Too much to follow. Too much to click through.

It’s too much. Sensory overload. And let me tell you, I barely link any of my accounts, I don’t check my mail every hour, and I’m only on Twitter about once a week. I HAVE A FLIP-PHONE. That’s right. I HAVE A FLIP-PHONE. I do not receive badges, banners, or updates; do not get pinged every time a new e-mail comes in; no swish or chirp when someone tweets something. It doesn’t seem to matter. When I do check Facebook there is invariably some new horrible thing that is being shared by everyone I know. When Hardworker comes home and asks, “Did you hear about …?” I have to say that I did. Whether I wanted to know about it or not. Apparently we no longer have the option of not watching the news.

Well, folks, I’m taking it back. I’m going to stop watching. Stop reading. Stop scrolling. Stop clicking through links. I’m going to stop. I know that some people will think this is no way to live in this day and age. They will call me names and tell me I’m part of the problem. I’m telling you this is the only way to live in this day and age. If I don’t stop I won’t survive.

So yeah, I’m going to stop.

 

Categories: family, friendship, media, NaBloPoMo, NaNoPoblano, Uncategorized, words | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

still tired

November. Wow. This year is almost over and I’ve hardly been here at all.

It’s been almost three years since I wrote about being tired. Three years, and not much has changed. Well, I may be somewhat more tired than I was, but the rest of the stuff is pretty much the same. Of course, the world is on fire and that’s pretty draining, too. Living next to the US of A and being bombarded by their pain and inflammation on a daily (sometimes even hourly) basis is exhausting. I can’t even imagine how terrifyingly intense it is for those of you who live there.

Yesterday while on my way out to run some errands I thought, “I haven’t felt this tired since I was 6+ months pregnant” (which was when I realised I shouldn’t be driving in to work any longer since I was pretty much falling asleep at every red light).  I ran into a friend at the dollar store and while we were in the middle of our “how are you” pleasantries she said, “I’m so tired this week, I feel like I’m pregnant. That’s what I told my husband this morning!” I just chuckled and agreed, “Oh my god, that’s exactly what I thought on my way here.”

I have so much to do, and so little energy. I have spoken with my doctor about not being able to fall asleep, not being able to stay asleep, and falling asleep during the day if I sit still for too long. All my bloodwork (iron, vitamins, cholesterol, thyroid, etc.) comes back “normal” so it remains a mystery. Hormones? Sure, why not? They’ve been pissing me off lately anyway.

November has begun. I am a Little Pepper and committed to NaNoPoblano, so here I am.

Categories: NaBloPoMo, NaNoPoblano, Sleep, words | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

a new year

So here we are, 201213. I’ll get it right eventually. We always do, don’t we?

We had a fairly long holiday season, with a couple of teacher strike days, my mother visiting for three weeks, BoyGenius having 2 weeks off, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, my brother SkinnyGuy and his girlfriend staying a couple of days, a little bit of  snow, some rain, some fierce winds, a turkey, a toasty warm fireplace and fluctuating temperatures. (Okay, so it probably seemed longer than it was, but still.) We only had one emotional breakdown (me), and it was small. We had four laptops, one desktop, one Wii, various DSes and one (sometimes two) iPads all accessing the internet at the same time. We are way over our usage limit and that reminds me, I need to change that plan. Soon.

I haven’t been here much, writing or even reading. I just haven’t really felt like it. A couple of times I’ve even felt like it would be such a chore to sit down and write something. I hate that. I’ve written and discussed *a lot* of things in my head, they just haven’t traveled down my arms to paper or keyboard. I’ll get it right eventually. Santa brought me some new coloured-ink pens and some new Sharpies! I just bought a new pencil case yesterday so I can keep them out of the reach of others. A friend gifted me with a fancy new writing implement and a gorgeous blank book, with the request that I “keep writing.” But you know what happens with a gorgeous new blank book.

Notebook for writing
Too lovely to use, though; new
Thank you anyway

I have had occasion to scribble a few Haiku here and there in my old, more portable notebook. And lists of songs I want to put on my next compilation CD(s). And grocery lists. And “to do” lists. A few things have even been crossed off. Yes, because they were accomplished.

So, a new year. With the same bills to be paid, the same laundry to be done, the same dinner arguments to have and so on and so on. Don’t get me wrong, good things happened over the holiday season. And a new year comes with all sorts of new possibilities. But when you get right down to it, isn’t every day the start of a new year?

As Chantal says, “This year is going to be incredible….”

Categories: family, friendship, music, words | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Monday’s words – I

The year is drawing to a close much more rapidly than I would like ..  November’s almost over. I find it hard to believe how fast a year goes by. I’m almost getting used to the speed of indiviual weeks but months and years still leave me spun out trying to figure out how they passed with such great velocity. I think “oh I just wrote something the other day” and then realize it was a month ago. I think “I’ll get that typed up today” and then it’s time to head back to school to pick BoyGenius up for lunch or it’s already 3:20 and school’s almost done for the day … then it’s homework and dinner and laundry and bedtime and Coronation Street and all of a sudden it’s the next day already and Monday’s words aren’t getting out until Tuesday … or Wednesday … and my tea is getting cold … and it’s bed time again … and it’s been seven hours and fifteen days, since you took your love away … 🙂

But I digress. I words are funny. Many of them are “im-” or “in-” words and mean they’re NOT something or other. These are often confusing (I think so, anyway) as those suffixes sometimes mean ‘not’ or ‘non-‘ something but not always. And when they do illustrate a negation, the “root” word is not always able to be used as a word with the opposite meaning of the “in-” or “im-” word. Think about it … some more .. try it out on some words … again .. there you go. See?

i

Here are some of my favourite I words: impromptu, infidel, ilk, imbibe, infer, iotaintrepid, idiom and integrity.

impromptu ~ prompted by the occasion rather than being planned in advance. I think we’ve all experienced an impromptu night out with friends or an impromptu dinner party … some of us have been put on the spot and had to give an impromptu speech, maybe.  Sometimes these turn out to be the most fun and memorable occasions of all. And it’s a fun word to say, too.

infidel ~ a person who has no religious beliefs; an unbeliever, with respect to a particular religion, especially Christianity or Islam. It originates from Latin (surprised?) and its meaning in that language was disloyal or NOT (in-) faithful (-fidel). So can you be fidel? Not in English. In Spanish you can, especially in Cuba. 😉 In German to be fidel means to be in the best of moods, merry or jolly. Here you can only be an infidel.

ilk ~ type or kind — you know, people of THAT ilk. The first time I ever came across this word was on All My Children, way back in the 70s. It was uttered by none other than Erica Kane and I loved it from that moment on, endeavouring to use it whenever possible. It’s not a word that is easily voiced in everyday conversation. It’s one of the ‘cattiest’ words I know.

imbibe ~ to drink; to receive and absorb into the mind; to absorb or take in as if by drinking. I always feel better about imbibing a few libations than I do about downing a few drinks. And, if I’m with friends, I can imbibe information and ideas at the same time I’m imbibing red wine or Weissbier! How cool is that!!?!?

infer ~ to deduce or conclude (information) from evidence and reasoning rather than from explicit statements; to surmise; to lead to as a consequence or conclusion. [Infer is often confused with imply. Don’t do it. If you are speaking or writing, you might imply something … if you are listening or watching or reading, you might infer something.] “I inferred that those girls were making fun of me because they kept looking over at me and giggling.” The last little snippet of definition above means that if you see a finished Lego set at my house you infer that there must have been a Lego builder; if you see thick black smoke, you infer there is a fire.

iota ~ it’s the ninth letter of the Greek alphabet and when used as an English word it means a very small amount or a bit. I love it for the way it sounds, the way it looks and the way it’s spelled (which means that when you’re playing Scrabble or Words With Friends and you’ve got 7 effen vowels you might be able to find an open T and make a real live word!).

intrepid ~ resolutely courageous; fearless. I like this word. I like the idea of this word. “He was an intrepid explorer!” could be said about many a 3 or 4 year old checking out all the climbing equipment at the playground. I would like to be thought of as intrepid. I would like to live my life intrepidly. I enjoy the fact that this is an “in-” word whose root word can actually be used and does mean what it should: to be trepid is to be anxious or timid.

idiom/idiomatic ~ a speech form or an expression of a given language that is peculiar to itself grammatically or cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements; the specific grammatical, syntactic, and structural character of a given language; regional speech or dialect. If all of that just confused you, think of it this way: slang; common usage; the way a native speaker of a given language speaks; phrases we use that don’t actually mean what the individual words would have you believe (eg.: the lights are on but nobody’s home; to come into your own; as dumb as a sack of hammers). Idioms are fun and if you can speak a language at least somewhat idiomatically you will get much more out of foreign travels than if you are pulling sentences out of a phrase book.

integrity ~ I think when we hear this word we often jump right to the meaning that points at adherance to a strict moral or ethical code. I like “the state of being unimpaired; soundness and the quality or condition of being whole or undivided; completeness” just as well, if not even better. I like to hear talk about preserving the integrity of an old building, maintaining the integrity of a plan or idea.

So there you have it. I haven’t forgotten you, dear readers. I haven’t given up. I haven’t stopped thinking. I’m still here. Hope you are as well.

Categories: Uncategorized, words | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

conversations?

Conversations in my head
Discussing things we’ve never said

Do you have conversations in your head? Are they conversations with yourself? Mine aren’t. Not usually anyway. They are actual conversations with other, real, people. People that I never seem to find the time to actually talk to. Sometimes they are rehashing snippets of conversations we have had, or started and didn’t finish. Sometimes I like them, sometimes I don’t. I get to say the things I want to say, without worrying about time constraints or little ears listening in from around the corner. The other half of the discussion doesn’t always go as I would hope. Truly. I don’t have them just say the things I want to hear. Well, okay, sometimes I do, but sometimes I am my own worst enemy playing devil’s advocate.

My biggest problem with conversations in my head is that when I actually see the person I’ve been “talking” to I can’t remember if we’ve already discussed something or not. It drives me nuts .. more nuts than I already am. The conversations in my head aren’t helpful and are a huge waste of time. Sometimes I write in my head as well. And that doesn’t work out either. Not really. There are always things that pop into my head and I know I should write it down or type it out because when I try to do it later I won’t remember what it was or exactly how I worded it. But the problem with that, of course, is that I’d be jotting stuff down all day and be getting nowhere at all with my list of chores.

How do people with children, with families, ever get to have real conversations with other people? It’s not the idle chit-chat at the grocery store or in the drive-thru. I don’t mean about what to make for dinner or how many bags of yard waste you gathered and put to the curb on the weekend. I mean a real, heart-to-heart, “these are my hopes and dreams” conversation. The kind of thing you have a best friend (or maybe a spouse) for. If  you can’t even find the time, let alone the right time, to talk to the one person that you can talk to about this stuff — then what?

Conversations in my head
Discussing things we’ve never said

Categories: Uncategorized, words | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Monday’s words — H

So although I’ve been working on a number of posts lately I can’t seem to get to the end of any of them. I hate when that happens. Seriously.

Thankfully, it’s another Monday and so I get to talk about some words since I haven’t even done that lately. This week’s winning entry is the letter H. H is pretty good, it stands on its own and it helps other letters do some really neat stuff.

Some of my favourite H words are halcyon, haberdashery, hyperbole, heart, heartwoodharmony and hoyden.

halcyon — a period of time in the past that was idyllically happy and peaceful. I first heard this word on some television show over 30 years ago. Some campy character blithely referring to those “halcyon days.” My halcyon days were my childhood. Really.

haberdashery — kind of an olde tyme five and dime store, a notions shop. In American english it usually refers to a men’s accessories shop (but not many people even know the term) but in the UK a haberdashery sells buttons, threads, ribbons; in ye olde tymes they might even carry swords or musical instruments. (On Are You Being Served? the haberdashery department is on the ground floor — I love this show.)

hyperbole — exaggeration, intentionally used for emphasis or effect; not to be taken literally. “omgosh, this bag weighs a tonne!” “I waited for days for the cable guy to show up!” (oh wait, that’s actually not an exaggeration at all) “I’m so tired I could sleep for days!”

heart — what can I say? I don’t mean heart as in the muscle, I mean heart as in the place where all our emotions and feelings are kept, where they originate; our capacity for love, caring, compassion; love and affection. You gotta have heart. My heart swells with love and pride when I hear BoyGenius explain how he wants to give his friends some of his favourite things because he doesn’t want them to do without.  My heart aches when I hear of friends who have lost a child to cancer or some other horrid disease. And while the feelings might actually affect my heart (as in the muscle that pumps my blood) it is my heart (as in the repository of my feelings and emotions) that expands and contracts in my chest.

heartwood — while the dense, central wood of a tree is dead and no longer serves to transport water or food to the rest of the tree, it also yields the hardest and strongest timber. It is often darker than the rest of the tree, resistant to decay and sometimes more fragrant than the other wood. I really like the idea that the parts of a tree that have been around the longest are the strongest. I think we need to take a look at people and relationships in the same way. 🙂

harmony — I like harmony in music, harmony in nature, harmony in design. A pleasing combination of elements in a whole; congruity; a simultaneous combination of tones. We see and hear harmony all the time, not paying much attention to it. When we pick colours for our furnishings, carpets and walls, we often create harmony without consciously thinking about it in those terms. When we pick team members for a project at work, we certainly hope for harmony.  If you enjoy cooking you probably work with flavour harmony all the time. Vocal harmonies can be an amazing thing to hear; the Indigo Girls and Simon & Garfunkle are some of my favourite harmonizers.

hoyden — a bold, boisterous and carefree girl; a tomboy. This was definitely me when I was a child …. well, at least the tomboy part. I guess I was carefree as well, but I’m not sure I could have been described as either bold or boisterous; I might be boisterous now, as an adult. You’d have to ask my friends. This is a word that I have come across in literature every now and then, but never actually used in real life. I think I will soon. I like the sound of it and I like what it means, when not being used in a derogatory fashion. ‘Cause I don’t think it should be a bad thing for a girl to be seen as bold, boisterous and carefree … or even a tomboy for that matter.

If you have any favourite H words please let me know about them. I have realized that there are always “new” words to learn and I enjoy finding them, whether I stumble across them on the internet, in a book or in a game like WordsWithFriends or Scrabble or a crossword puzzle.

Categories: music, words | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

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