LIFE’S A HOOT
I think my whole day yesterday was a complete brain fart. Saturday I wrote a really excellent poem for my son for Father’s Day, and got up yesterday early to get it onto his Facebook page before he was up and about. Which was a very good plan, except when I went upstairs and asked him if he’d seen his Father’s Day poem on his page yet, and he and my daughter-in-law both looked at me as if I’d lost my marbles (I’m perilously close to running out altogether).
In short, Father’s Day is of course next week. I deleted the post. Ugh!
But I’m not through yet. I worked my butt off all day yesterday, got all the stories in my ‘polish then publish’ folder edited and pasted into appropriate issues of Owl's Eye View, keyed in an article, worked on Princess Rosie stories so that Rosie can illustrate them this summer, got all the editing work I’d planned for this week-end done. Hugely productive week-end.
Right up until this morning when I was awake half an hour before my alarm, knowing it’s publish Owl's Eye View day, and immediately realized I hadn’t written this column. Ugh!
So here I sit, running late now because I’m an old broad whose only marbles are the two in my pocket that Rosie gave me (because I keep losing mine). J
Okay. So the point. What have I been up to this month? What have my thoughts been?
Well, the song “Hallelujah” written by Leonard Cohen is stuck in my head to stay it seems. I’m sure my family is sick of hearing me hum it, but it’s such an addictive melody I’m thinking it’ll be around for awhile.
I went through all the bits of paper holding thoughts I’ve jotted down during the month, some are provocative, some are just random crap that occurs to me. You can judge which is which.
I think the American citizenry, as employers of every politician in office, should announce immediate pay cuts for said politicians, dropping them all to minimum wage until they get the all federal and state budgets balanced. Then and only then they may vote themselves a twenty percent raise each year, once their job performance has been reviewed. If the review (by their constituents) is positive, they can have their raise. If negative, they may be summarily dismissed for not achieving the agendas set out by their employers. I highly doubt if these men and women were working in the corporate world with such poor performance and low productivity that they would still be holding their jobs.
Little Joey and I have been watching Anne Burrell and Rachel Ray for a little over a month now. Joey loves “Miss Anne” because she has crazy hair, and she’s very animated and effervescent as she works in her kitchen. I agree, she’s charismatic and her passion for cooking is infectious. He likes ‘Cooking Rachel’ (he calls her that because he has an Aunt Rachel and a friend’s mommy named Rachel in his life) a lot too, for pretty much the same reasons, sans the crazy hair. I go onto foodnetwork.com and copy the recipes, but never have the time or money to put them together. But they are lurking there in my recipe folder…
I had to laugh. I keep a bowl (Birdie Bowl) on the end of my counter for uneaten bread crusts, veggie scraps, egg shells, dryer lint (birds use it to line their nests), and other compost stuff. I let the kids take the bowl to the back corner of the yard for the birdies and squirrels (and groundhog). So the other night I’m talking to Joe and Cait about my disability benefit woes, and said, “I’m worried about not having enough money to take care of arrangements if/when I go for the big dirt nap.” And without missing a beat, Cait piped up with, “Oh don’t give it a thought. Joe and I will just cut you up and let the kids take you out in the birdie bowl!” So that’s a weight off my mind.
I jotted this thought down somewhere along the way this month: Eating sugar for an energy boost is like coasting your car down a hill when it’s out of gas—you’ll get down the hill, but at the bottom you’ll still be out of gas. Hmmm…not a bad analogy.
Rosie will be out of school for summer vacation on Thursday and I’m trying to line up little things to keep her brilliant mind occupied. I’m thinking artist of the day. I will prop a picture of a painting or sculpture by a famous artist up, and let Rosie and Joey draw their own versions of it. I figure it’ll be good for an hour or so of quiet time during each day, and at the end of the summer I will have a shit load of interesting kid art to tack up on the walls of my room. J
I wrote: I’m more shocked when a man is decent and kind than I am when he is despicable and cruel. (I guess I’m jaded—I am always happy to be surprised by the decency and kindness, though. I love it when that happens.)
Rosie handed me her recipe:
Rosie’s Homemade Cheesy Stars
1 box star pasta
3 slices (1 slice=1 tbs) butter
3 pinches salt
1 handful shredded cheese
1 tablespoon milk
There are no directions, but I think those of us who cook can figure out Chef Rosie’s recipe and come up with a pretty good dish. Her handwritten recipe with the face drawn in the R of her name, (which incidentally is also wearing a chef’s hat) was the best part for me.
As for me, I’ve been playing around with Hummus recipes and eating a lot of it on celery chunks every day. I wanted something crunchy and satisfying to take the place of crackers because the carb comas every evening were seriously curtailing my writing productivity. Celery, cucumber medallions, radish slices are all excellent vehicles for Hummus. Mmmmm. Hopefully my ass will shrink enough that it will no longer require its own zip code.
Oh, and I finished writing “Parliament” and completed a rough edit. I will do a final edit in a couple of months after the manuscript has had a chance to ‘rest,’ then divide it into installments and insert it in the January-June issues of Owl's Eye View for 2013.
In summary, it’s been an interesting and diverse month filled with Owl's Eye View ookiness, family closeness, grandchildren joy and silliness, and Social Security Disability preposterousness.
Editor’s note about Lucy Bernelli’s departure:
I had some things to say about Native American spirituality—which I personally respect and didn’t want to exploit. I have said what I wanted to say and that is why I gave Lucy the storyline to fully commit to her ancestors—and Native way of life—because when it comes to personal goals and values, it truly is all or nothing. People of European descent never completely understood their connection to Mother Earth because they abandoned natural, healthier living centuries before they came in contact with the Native Americans. The result is that white people are on the brink of self-destruction and unfortunately they’re dragging Native Americans with them on that violent, downward spiral. That’s what happens when the environment is treated as a political issue rather than a way of life.
Through Lucy, I tried to give Oneida Traditionals a way out—a way to survive on their own terms.
Because I have always felt that the Indians and Mexicans for that matter, got steamrolled by the Europeans, that white settlers brand of ‘civilization’ was and is mostly a selfish, hypocritical farce in comparison to the Native Americans whose nature-based religions had soul and meaning and were lived not preached. I hope I portrayed that through Lucy’s character and storyline.
Okay, last but far from least:
A dear writer friend of mine asked me awhile ago if I thought it was appropriate to fictionalize true events from one’s life in order to write about them.
I guess she gives me credit for being quite a lot more creative than I actually am because there are bits and pieces of me, my friends, co-workers, and conversations I’ve overheard on buses, in restaurants, and stores, all kinds of tidbits of truth I’ve doctored up and tucked into novels, stories, and columns.
Part of the reason I write the people and experiences of my life into fiction is because I never really figured people would care about a little housewife/writer in the second smallest state in the country. That and I like writing ooky stories. Oh, and I didn’t want to get my ass sued off by former employers, and others who might become upset if their parts of my story painted them in a less than flattering light.
And then of course there are a very few people here and there through the years who have truly pissed my off—not as many as you might think, actually. I’m a pretty forgiving person and I’m not arrogant enough to think that just because a person rubs me the wrong way that they’re bad through and through. But I’ve run across a couple of real bastards in my lifetime—one the owl sentries took care of in Holy Terrors, one met a dreadful demise in M*E*D*S, and that’s all I’m fessin up to. Muahaha!
The more experiences I can suck out of my real life and infuse into my fiction, or use as complete basis for a story or novel, the more textured and believable my characters and stories turn out to be.
So now, if you follow my writing all that’s left for you to figure out is which characters are me—muahaha!
In the sixth issue of Owl's Eye View:
Larry Nunn tells us a little tale of a muse gone haywire in “Screech On!”
In “Swooping Through the Years” Nathan Williams introduces us to Sol Hammond, his protégé.
Meredith Alden has a little chat with Lois Vale, Max’s mom in “From the Perch.”
Another guest writer for “On the WindSpirit” in the wake of Lucy Bernelli’s dramatic departure for another dimension, an alternate life. Trudy Shriver lends her skills to tie up so very many loose ends.
“Operating Table #4” is Melanie Mirth’s gift in “Macabre Mirth.” Pate anyone?
Who can resist soft, cuddly, hand-made baby afghans for a newborn? You might once you read my story, “Blankies.”
Little May’s solution for domestic violence in my story “Trunk.”
And of course, last but not least, the conclusion of M*E*D*S—don’t dare miss it! Chills abound!