326

Pages. Last January I had 326 pages in my journal. In order to tie that number, my goal every month, I have to add One hundred and twenty-one pages in the next five hours and thirty seven minutes. Pictures would help me go a long way. I’m just a little behind schedule. The four days spent with my sister, nephew, and niece-in-law only gives me forty potential pages. Books have been been my grindstone.

In some ways I was born before my time. Or maybe Murphy really is my father, which is why Murphy’s Law has followed me so closely. The year I turned 13, the town of Weston said that girls could now play Little League Baseball, but it only went up to twelve. On the other hand, I only had to deal with the stupid dress code of girls not being allowed to wear pants or shorts for one or two years.

When it came to writing, I fit in great in the sixty and seventies curriculum. Capture your imagination, be creative. Down with sentence diagramming. It doesn’t matter if I didn’t know the difference between a colon and a Cola. Punctuation can come later.

I learned quickly that the more bizarre my writing, the better my score, though Kingsley Weatherhead, the Oxford Man, didn’t like my paper about Virginia Woolf. In my paper, I had her walk out of the Willamette River while I was walking my dog Kahlua. She and I discussed her life and then she added some more rocks to her pockets and returned to the ocean. Come to think of it, he probably didn’t appreciate that I didn’t uses sources and I didn’t know copying word for word was plagiarism. It was a lot harder in my day to plagiarize. I had to write it or type it; there weren’t computers to copy and paste.

Maybe the strange stories I wrote for random and unrelated vocabulary words created my addiction to write or the journals I dabbled in was my downfall, but writing has been a steady variable in my life since roughly 1983. There have been a few times I have seriously thought about burning or shredding or burying the pages upon pages of handwritten or computer-written pages that have been stuffed in three-ring binders. I think I stopped printing my journal about five or six years ago. My five year sentence at the local military-style-school demonstrated that it’s hard to spit out pages when one is working more than eighty hours a week. I have tried to celebrate my liberation, but it only has haunted me as a failure.

As I reflect upon the spiral binder of Volume I of 1983 journal, I realize that my struggle in finding myself now is not that much different than when I was twenty-three-years-old. I’m fatter, have more wrinkles, still haven’t published anything, but I’m not really any closer to knowing what I want to do when I grow up.

I tell people that my purpose in moving from Boston to Eugene was to get my proverbial shit together. Maybe I thought that my journals were like leaving a trail of breadcrumbs to find myself back home. Who was the author that said that you can’t go home again. Thomas Wolfe. I think that there are two district Thomas Wolfe’s to confuse things.

I was a bored security guard for the New England Medical Center when I started looking for clues on where my life would turn. I even pasted pennies. On June 10th, I found a penny on the dialysis floor; just two months earlier, that floor held up Methadone patients. The little color television sets and the comfy chairs were heaven. I no longer had to hunt down executive comfy chairs and couches for my naps. Watching Apocalypse Now in the middle of a sixteen hour shift was crazy.

I enjoy re-reading about running two miles around Fresh Pond with my dog Kahlua and Ed Byrnes. It’s impossible for me to not pause and think about what a great dog Kahlua was.Kahlua and me 1983?

I was playing hide and go seek with my niece Kara Ruth Honthumb and Lisa, though I have to admit that I don’t have a clue who Lisa was. They never did figure out that my hiding spot was always in front of the Rose Bowl game where UCLA was beating Michigan.

It amazes me that I could lace up any old pair of sneakers and run two miles without much of a problem; today I lugged the yard debris bucket from one part of the yard to the drive, about five-yeards, and I was extremely winded. Two miles would have killed me.

In my journal, I am reminded of conversations from long ago that I had forgotten about. While I was in high school, and before that, I focused all of my time on hockey, soccer, and my dog. I didn’t have much use for humans and had built a fortress around me. Are all forts fortified?

I’m sent off to college and bam, I fall in love. Everyone is elated. Sort of. After babysitting my big sister’s kids, I get cornered by Barbara and my father and am presented with the question as to why I was a Lesbian. How do you know you don’t like men if you have never been with a man? My come back wasn’t immediate, but it was good. So, if I were dating a guy right now, you’d be asking me why I knew I was heterosexual if I had never been with a woman? They told me that I didn’t understand. Oh, I understood all too well. I understood that if I slept with women, I could no longer expect college to be paid for.

It took me over a year to finally “get” humans. My grades were going up and being in love for the very first time had me soaring. But those wings didn’t help me deal with the four hundred miles between Nancy and I. The soaring I was doing wasn’t being supported by wings after all. It was more like that of a balloon that was expelling all the hot air, including that irritating squeal. The flight was fast, furious, and ended in a crash. There’s nothing like the first love of my life to tell me that “I love you, but I’m no longer in love with you.”

I hated having to go to Northeastern University, but I was convinced that college was more important than anything and naive to think that the four hundred miles would only make our hearts grow stronger.

My 1983 journal demonstrates my struggle with the second love of my life. Sometimes the future Massachusetts State Trooper would be too drunk to come home or was too busy cheating on me. I had hopes that by documenting this experience that I’d never have to experience something like this again. That’s not how life works.

So, if I have so much written down, why can’t I remember when I moved to Eugene. I knew that softball season was over and we did drive into a slight snow storm. In May I was living on Royce Road in Allston, another thing piece of information that isn’t in the recall section of my brain.

Volume I has a few clues but no answers. I’ll have to dig up Volume II to see when I finally loaded up the Plymouth Volare to find myself or at least begin to find myself.

 

Tangents

Beware of oncoming tangents or the ones behind you like a speeding bullet. My shift in topics will blind swipe you. Tangents always have the right of way. I don’t even know when they are going to happen. If you are prone to car or air or train motion, this will not be the blog for you. If you don’t mind heights or free-falling from such heights, come on aboard and see if you can keep track.

Sometimes the train comes to an abrupt stop. I hear of zero to eighty, but I’m talking going from two hundred miles an hour and then stopping on a time, at least the front part of the train. The rest of the cars will whip around until gravity tires from game or would that be physics tires. Is there a law of excelleration and deexcelleration? I can’t spell the word, which is a good example of a tangent crashing and burning.

And as a result, I have to slowly and tediously back the train up to pick up from where I started or when a spontaneous thread jumps to mind, whichever to come first.

In my first draft, and this is an unusual concept for blogging since I tend to just put words to page without much edit. I employ the five second rule. If I edit a word or sentence before five seconds, I do the edit, but since five seconds went past the acceleration words, I had to keep them even though it kind of shows the reader that I can’t spell, but this also demonstrates how my brain had gone fishing for the proper spelling while overwhelming my reader with clichés left and right, totally bombarding you. Maybe that is why I think with cliches; it frees my brain up to do other things. I could hear the word accelerate. I’m going to blame the Excell spreadship for my erroneous ways. I meant spreadsheet, but I didn’t notice it until fifteen minutes passed; I had to go feed the dogs… .

… . is code for I’m done with the sentence, but not the idea, but something like letting the dogs outside even though there’s s dog door for them do on their own, but they like interrupting me. And then I frantically try to hold onto that thought. Sometimes a better one comes around like…and I’m not convinced the ellipsis in that place, but as I was feeding the dogs, I wondered how much dogs’ behavior is based on what they watch. Usually I feed the dogs in a sequential order. Ricky gets fed first because he’ll still be eating while Lucy the Lovely, a vacuum cleaner, is already cleaning Abby The Labby Number Nine’s bowl who likes to finish Ricky’s food before finishing the rest of hers.

Sometimes I feed the dogs in the order of who sits. I don’t say anything. I just hold the cup of kibble. I’ll give the dogs eye contact, but no gesture or eye motions. Abby the Labby Number Nine is the Number One sitter in the family. Lucy would be, but it takes the circuits to go from brain to hip for the sit to begin since the hip always has to send a message back saying, it hurts. Sometimes Ricky is so distracted with the six month dead moth on the wall that he doesn’t realize it is dinner times.

This was my  blog beginning:

“I don’t know if I am currently listening to Vivaldi or if we’ve morphed to Albinoni, a name I’ve never heard of. The CD jacket only tells me that 1-12 is Vilvadi, I don’t know what the numbers reflect, though if I interpret the parenthisi correct Vilvadi will drag on for close to an hour, if not longer. Paranthsis. How am I supposed to spell a word; my blog dictionary tells me a word is incorrectly spelled or my grammar is in jeopardy of being wrong, which happens more times than I would like, but the bloody program won’t tell me how to spell Parenthesis? Third time’s the charm. Now I wonder, would Paranthesi be plural, though I have never heard of a thesi either. Full Definition of parenthesis. plural pa·ren·the·ses.”

In the back of my mind, I knew I was supposed to wind my thoughts back around to Vilvadi to parenthesis, but as you can see pasting was the only thing that helped corral the beast. I have to admit that I never put the word thesis with Paren. Maybe I ought to have been teaching students was a Paren or perhaps Parent to go with the theses or heses. (Autocorrect wanted m spelled heses as Hexes as if I didn’t know that hesis a real world. Lewis Caroll would have hated computers. I bet Woolf would have, though she would never have published anything since something can never be perfect, especially the hundredth draft after it’s been trampled and stomped on and rolled up and thrown in the garbage.

And that is why I like one-draft blogs, or in this case, two.

Strange things

Happens. Strange things happen. Once A Vixen fox got her head stuck in my chain link fence. We had to use wire cutters to set her free. Then there was a ground squirrel inside the house, running frantically around plants in the kitchen window. Sylvia was also quite frantic. I thought she was talking about the stuffed chipmunk that’s been there for years and maybe she finally flipped. Tonight there was the mouse.

I was on my way up to bed. I certainly wasn’t frantic. I was more like zombie-like. today I had to get up early to impersonate a chemistry teacher. For those who know me, this is probably the worst subject for me to teach. That and Rhythmic Gymnastics. I failed that class when my streamer and I got twisted together. Stupid streamer. Maybe I should have chosen the pin, but back when I was 18 I hadn’t a clue that I had a knack for knocking pins down. Ten pin not candlepin. On second thought, that wouldn’t have gotten me a passing grade either.

Anyway. I’m zombie-like in half of my brain, but the Manic side was just swirling with ideas. I had to get my hands on my lap top before the pot started to boil over. I hate the mess it makes. The other day I was zoning out when the mussel water went to town. Water is one thing, but muscle juice is another. Hot muscle juice.

I am sort of near the kitchen as I puff up the stairs from the basement. A drip caught my attention. I Hate the sound of a drip. Sounds that aren’t supposed to happen or unusual sounds torture me and draw all of my attention. Kids clicking pens push me over the ledge as well as drive me up the wall. Might as well get as many clichés out while my manic side is riding the waves.

Sounds that don’t ever happen is the kitchen faucet dripping. Our eleven or twelve or thirteen year kitchen faucet has never dripped that I recall. I hung a quick left from my route to bed and pounced on the situation. Nope. No drip from the faucet.

No, I haven’t gotten to the strange thing part. In the sink was the pan that I either cooked carrots or wild rice in, rice that Sylvia won’t touch because it’s not white rice. At least she left it in the sink soaking.

Lo and Behold. I don’t get a chance to use that phrase very often and I’m not even sure if my grammar is correct. Lo or Low? Behold probably ought not to be capitalized, but I like being unconventional. I’m not even sure if it fits, but I’ll go ahead and risk it: Lo and behold, there was a mouse swimming laps in the pan. Cute little bugger. “How many laps have you done little one,” I asked. He may have answered, but I think they speak at a frequency we can’t hear, and it was rather Frantic. He indeed was very frantic. For all I knew, he was ready to drown. I don’t know how long mice can swim. But I did learn an interesting and useless piece of information from a Psychology textbook while taking classes at Lane Community College.

Did you know that If you put a rat in water, it can swim for a rather long time before it drowns. Death seems to be the outcome in most animal testing. Anyway, if you cut the whiskers off of a rat before they go swimming, they drown quicker. Damn. I read this when I was about 23 or 24-years-old. But ask me what I ate yesterday and I wouldn’t be able to tell you.

So, I’m looking at this mouse swimming around and around I really wanted to run into Sylvia’s room and show her the cute little rodent to see her freak out. I would never do that, but in this case the thought doesn’t count for anything. Great way to get adrenalin flowing. I wanted to asked her how much we ought to charge it for a gym membership. The hell with a doggy care center idea I have been dreaming about. I could open a gym for all kinds of animals. I’ve seen dogs on a treadmill. even a cat. I wouldn’t mind doing Yoga with a chimp; that would be a lot of fun, though I don’t know the legality of owning a monkey. I once met a woman who had a cougar; her husband was the Crocodile guy from Australia.

As I’m watching this poor little field mouse, who could be on the verge of death, I’m thinking of the monkey on a jungle gym that Sylvia built or obstacle courses for collies to attract customers. Even at my age of 55, and I can’t say that for much longer, I like to play on jungle gyms. Swinging is great therapy, and it’s free.

It didn’t take that many moments for me to frantically race to the kitchen door, after fumbling with the locks and the lights. I poured the water out on the deck. Since it was still rather dark outside, I couldn’t quite separate mouse from water from wood deck, but then I saw  the mouse make a run for it. Now my question is: how far can a mouse drop to the ground and survive?