Sued51's Blog











{June 18, 2014}   Celebrity Sightings

Lately they have been happening all AROUND me but not TO me…other people telling me about their celebrity sightings. Last week John Wayne’s son came in to the liquor distributor I work for to promote his bourbon, “The Duke.” Meanwhile I was in holed up in a co-worker’s office getting some training. I had no idea he was there until after the fact.

I also just found out a TV actress came in to the restaurant where I hostess every other Saturday. It just so happens her father lives in the small town where it is located and likes the place, so they came in for a Father’s Day meal. Hmmm…it was my weekend off…missed that too.

A Facebook friend has a friend who just saw Viggo Mortensen at a store in Idaho…Aragon in Idaho, go figure…must have been filming somewhere around there. (I admit that story fluttered my heart for just a moment…though it was the farthest removed from me. I am a big admirer of him as a modern-day renaissance man.)

I was working on this post yesterday and didn’t finish it, and then — Voila! — The Daily Post topic today is “Instant Celebrity.”  Am I on track with The Universe on this?

The question The Daily Post asked is this: if you could be a celebrity, who would you be? Hmmm…That’s a tough question for me. I think it is easier to say who I WOULDN’T want to be…Alec Baldwin? Miley Cyrus? Kim Kardashian? I wouldn’t want to be anyone who is known for outlandish behavior. To me, they have no ethics, no personal integrity. But I don’t want to go off on a rant about people doing ANYTHING for attention or money; I’ll save that for another post. 🙂

To seriously try to answer the question — I would want to be a brilliant but reclusive writer (maybe Margaret Atwood or Joan Didion) or a well-off philanthropist (Melinda Gates or Oprah). But perhaps the reason The Universe has not provided me with that gift is that I wouldn’t handle it well. Maybe being famous would turn me into Alec Baldwin (EEK!) because I don’t like being the center of attention.

Going back to the actress in the restaurant…my friend told me people were approaching her and asking to have their pictures taken with her. Bless her, she obliged, but I think it would get pretty annoying trying to have a nice quiet Father’s Day dinner with a loved one who you probably don’t have much time to see, and being interrupted by fans.

Naw…I don’t think I would want to be a celebrity.

 



{April 7, 2014}   Daily Prompt: Make Me Smile

This daily prompt could be answered by some of the same things that I listed in the Singing the Blues post. But because it is spring, and I love to hear the birds sing…here’s a cheery song for today that makes me smile:

In case that doesn’t work,  how could I NOT smile looking at my relaxed and trusting kitty??

cat sleeping

Relaxed and Content Cat




 

The cats know when I need them...

The cats know when I need them…

This prompt is timely. I am having one of those days today when I feel like a cartoon character hanging off the cliff by that one skinny little branch…

I usually have to do a LOT of different things to get out of it. A combination of activities usually does the trick.

My number one tactic is to pet and play with my cats. They always know when I need them.

Another tool is to read uplifting materials…and yet sometimes the opposite helps: singing the “blues” as the title says. I listen to sad music, cry and get it out of my system. A couple of songs that are guaranteed to make me cry: “Sparrow” by Simon & Garfunkel or Lyle Lovett singing “Texas Trilogy.” (Below is the original version…couldn’t find a YouTube video of Lyle Lovett performing it. The last song in the trilogy, Bosque County Romance, is the one that sets me off.) A sad movie can do the trick as well.

Walking is always good or yoga, or meditation using a positive message like “God loves me” or “Serenity” or “Abundance” can help.

Writing about it: blogging and knowing that others feel the same makes me feel less alone. Writing/reading a gratitude list. I still haven’t completed the whole alphabet but I work on it periodically.

Sometimes looking at old pictures of happier times can make me smile. Taking new pictures is sure to get my attention off of myself and my life and onto an activity I enjoy.

Finally, just going about my day and being present during simple tasks can sweep the blues away and allow me to toss them in the bucket and look forward to tomorrow.

It IS Friday after all. 🙂



{March 24, 2014}   Daily Prompt: Sixteen Tons

Geez…this prompt gave me an earworm I couldn’t get rid of all day: “You load sixteen tons, whadda ya get? Another day older and deeper in debt…”

I once worked with a guy who put notes to himself on his day calendar every few weeks. Just when he might not be thinking about it, he would turn the page, and there it would be: “You are still there?? Are you kidding me?” or “Do you have any soul left or has it been completely sucked out?” He showed me a couple one day. I thought it was pretty funny, in a dark way.

I wrote a pretty dark poem myself many years ago when I didn’t like my job. I thought it fit the prompt, so here it is:

Monday Morning Hike

 When I park my car

the music stops.

I shuffle to the front door

of my brick purgatory

a little late,

head down,

watching my feet

go through the motions.

At the front steps

a pack is

put on my back–

every soldier’s companion;

gravity pulls

my shoulders earthward;

a groan slips out

as I yank open

cumbrous glass doors.

With every step

down the stale hall,

my pack gets heavier.

I imagine the silent

figures I pass

loading me up

behind my back,

as I struggle along,

bound for my trench.

By the time I reach

that terminus

my canteen is empty;

any weekend peace

it held drained away.

Another deadend

week has begun.



{February 25, 2014}   Daily Prompt: We Got the Beat

Have you ever played in a band? Tell us all about that experience of making music with friends. If you’ve never been in a band, imagine you’re forming a band with some good friends. What instrument do you play in the band and why? What sort of music will you play?

Great topic for the daily prompt today! I guess it is a story I have been intending to write for a while. There’s definitely more than one post here for me, but I’m off to work now and time is short.

I had a songwriting phase for sure, and I think I was actually good at it. When I was young and constantly in the throes of unrequited love, the lyrics came easily. I usually had a tune in my head when I wrote them, but I was not truly a musician. I was a writer who liked music. Thus when it came to the band part, I was doomed to fail.

When my friend Jane and I started singing together it was a blast; the two of us sitting on the bed or the floor with her guitar and a tape recorder. The hours would race by. Each time I wrote something, I would appear at Jane’s house with my scribbled ballads begging her to write music from my pitiful singing. Jane was a true musical talent; she sang and played her guitar on the local talent show “Community Auditions” when she was 6 years old. It always amazed me that she could listen to a song and then just play it on her guitar; she had an ear. When I got to be a nuisance with my lyrics, she said, “Why don’t you learn how to play the guitar and write your own music!” She was half-joking, but I took her seriously. I went out and signed up for guitar lessons. I did well with my lessons…intellectually I understood keys and I could read music. My teacher said I learned the music theory faster than any student he ever had…But being able to do that, does not a musician make.

Jane and I sang at a friend’s wedding, and performed at a small get-together at her house. Our friend Chris, who played bass guitar, wanted to play with us. We got my roommate and friend Julie involved; she didn’t play an instrument, but had a strong voice and personality, so she became the lead singer. I couldn’t sing and try to play the guitar at the same time…that was the first thing that bummed me out. Then when we tried to play together I found out how NOT FUN it was for me. Jane and Chris would jam, while I would be saying, “What key are you in???” I couldn’t hear it…I just did not have the ear. I soon quit with my tail between my legs, while they went on to play together for several years, under several different band names and with the addition of Julie’s husband and a few different drummers. But I soon gave up the guitar and song lyrics for photography and poetry, much more my style.



{February 24, 2014}   Daily Prompt: Shake it Up

My First Birthday

My First Birthday

When I read the Daily Prompt today, telling we bloggers to write about our 12th birthday, I initially deleted it. After over one-half century of birthdays, I remember very few. My twelfth being one of  those I have no memory of whatsoever. But I remember my 13th…vividly.

One of my best friends, Terry threw a surprise party for me at her house, and boy was I surprised! To the point that my legs completely gave way and I ended up on the floor greeting her dog before I said hello to any of my friends. This was a subject of a lot disgruntled complaining by everyone after the fact…”we go to all this trouble and the first thing she does is pet the dog!” This situation was repeated in my early twenties when my best friend and roommate, Julie gave me a surprise party and I proceeded to cry about the fact that my current crush was  not there. Julie was angry for days and thought me ungrateful.

I felt quite guilty both times. But at my present age, I understand myself so much better. I have never been able to deal with being the center of attention, even though a part of me has always wanted it. It is the introvert in me. Both those times I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I couldn’t handle it. I was unable to express how unbelievably grateful I was to be so loved. I felt totally unworthy.

And now as I look at my life and mourn its lack of celebratory moments, I finally understand that though some of it was a result of circumstances, some of it I have to take responsibility for. I am going to write a part two of this post to talk about what I mean by a lack of celebratory moments, but in the meantime, as the adult that I am now, I so wish I could tell Terry and her mother how much I appreciate what they did. It was a significant moment in my life. My first “boy/girl” party and a moment that set the tone for the rest of my life…actually one of the best birthdays I ever had. Terry’s mother surrendered her house to a bunch of young teenagers; she must have been cleaning up M&M’s for months afterward (we had an unbelievable M&M fight).

Acknowledging what they did now is the best I can do.




The Daily Prompt mentions dishes, but I don’t mind doing dishes or any basic cleaning. Most physical cleaning chores can be performed in an almost meditative way.

Files

My most disliked chore is anything to do with paperwork and any chores involving sorting, filing, and organizing. I find making decisions about what to keep and what to throw out difficult, tiring and tedious. This leads to stacks of paperwork and canvas bags full of papers that have to be periodically sorted. I have the best of intentions, but I just can’t find time for EVERYTHING I am interested in.

As a writer, I keep every draft of a piece of work (still too often a hard copy), because I can have a tendency to over-edit, or rewrite a poem so extensively that it becomes a COMPLETELY different poem. At any given time I can go back to the original draft and send it in a different direction and create a different poem. And I have to admit, I can become fascinated with analyzing the process.

I know, I should be embracing the electronic age. Technology has been around long enough and has progressed far enough that I should be rid of this paper by now, but I’m being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Weaning myself away from paper products, be they books or notebooks, is hard work. And unfortunately, I suffer from the same problems on my computer…too many emails, too many files, too many versions of things…SIGH




Last week definitely felt like an obstacle course for me. I was sick and just couldn’t get over it. Unfortunately I don’t “do rest” very well. Following advice and taking a couple of days off from work did not result in my laying in bed or on the couch with a book or watching TV (unfortunately it did not result in my getting rid of my infernal cough, either). I descaled my coffeemaker. I sorted through some mail. I played with the cats. Not strenuous activities by any means, but I have a hard time letting a day go by without doing anything on my “to do” list.

edited storyThe other (important to me) thing I did was to try to work on a short story I had planned on submitting this month. This is a time-sensitive goal because the publication usually charges a reading fee, but waives that fee in January. The end of the month is fast approaching so I didn’t want to let another day go by. I ended up creating my own obstacle course for achieving my goal.

The first obstacle was created by the fact that the story was written and saved in a many-versions-ago format of WORD (that I didn’t own, but borrowed) I had no “authorization” to open. So I basically retrieved it from the bowels of the computer. I had to open it in a notepad format and clear out the code. There were still sections that seemed misplaced, but it was mostly intact.  I cut and pasted the misplaced text (which appeared to be edited text, so still possibly valuable) and pasted it at the end of the document.

When I first read the story, it flowed with a consistent voice and SEEMED well-written and worth submitting. But then, I read it with my editor hat instead of my reader hat. The original version seemed to flow, but it was too simplistic. The verbs were too ordinary and it was full of those reviled parts-of-speech: adverbs. I had written it over 10 years ago, after all.

I began to edit on paper, getting rid of the adverbs and creating more active verbs. I found some elements of the story that didn’t seem believable, and tried to make some small changes to fix those problems. I soon had a mess on my hands: the voice became uneven and the flow had disappeared. I tried to type the revised version on the computer so I could work on it some more on the screen and had trouble following what I had done. It really became a chore! One that did not get done.

So here I sit typing this blog instead of working on the story. I am tempted to scrap my goal: the equivalent of sitting in the sand beneath the obstacle wall, unable to go any further.

So I sit here with my sandy butt, examining my motives: is this another excuse not to send anything out because of my fear of rejection and failure? I question whether I am better off going back to the original simplistic version and submitting it anyway — at least crossing that hurdle or mental block — or just submit the mess — or get up and walk away and pretend the whole thing never happened? Readers, what would you do?

Damn that wall looks hard to climb…especially when you are coughing your head off…



et cetera
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