Thursday, February 6, 2014

Mercury in Retrograde

I know you should be triply and quadrupuly and downright paranoid about what you put on the internet. Yes it does creep me out to see this fuzzy picture of myself displayed in places on the internet.

So I wrote a critical blog. It's not that I am afraid of being wrong. I will be wrong. It's the fact that I was unfair. I took the blogpost down and I googled my name several months later and there it pops up. Of my 200 plus posts, what title pops into view. Fortunately It linked to my latest post.

I had gone to a group meeting and realized an inner group was waiting for some of us to leave so they could lunch together. To expect to be included was too much. It told me about what I had missing in my life, friendship. I have friends but I have become isolated because of my family responsibilities.

Things are not going to get better. It is a two edge sword. I have these people I love and a limit on freedom. I have freedom to build friendships, social time and not the people I love. You can see why I accept the situation. You just can't have your cake and eat it too.

I have continued meeting with these people. The kick to my creativity is immense. I leave with ideas streaming from my head. Who knows I may make a friend.

I also learned that I need to make some time to socialize. Since I started writing I have learned one aspect of unbidden fantasy and strong emotion is the unfulfilled need driving it.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tuna Casserole

My response to Trifecta Writing Challenge which is to use the third definition of manipulate in a story 33 to 333 words. This is based on a true story which happened about forty years ago to me. My time does fly.

Cook a pot of noodles, stir in a can of tuna, English peas, chop some celery. pour into a buttered casserole dish, top with corn flakes, cook awhile. Bringing the piping hot tuna casserole out of the oven, Ginny hurriedly ladled a big scoop in a bowl.

The casserole needed something. She chopped an onion and stirred in mushroom soup to manipulate the casserole.

Ginny's roommate Constance enters the apartment, “Oh that smells good.”

"I thought I would make a tuna casserole."

"Sounds great."

Ginny located unused flavor packets for ramen in the silverware drawer. She picked a green packet and an orange packet. She stirred them in to manipulate the mixture more. Getting a second bowl for her roommate Constance,

“Something must be wrong with these noodles Constance. They are so gooey." 

"Noodles are noodles," Constance blew a bite cool and placed it in her mouth. Her eyes got fairly serious. "What kind of casserole is this?"


"I'm not a tuna person."

"It's OK, I don't know what went wrong."

Someone knocks on the door. "Oh Eric's here, we're going to the library." 

Eric walks in, smiles, gives a wave, walks over to the casserole and gives the serving spoon a skeptical lift.  "Whatcha cooking Gin?"

“A tuna casserole. I haven't quite got the blend right.”

Ginny adds the can of corn as Eric and Constance leave the apartment. Ginny takes a taste. It's bad. Looking through the kitchen window, there is the starving cat who is looking for a home. She dips the cat a big serving.

The cat purrs loudly as the casserole is placed before her. Taking a curious sniff, she declines.

Ginny goes back in the apartment to open a can of tuna for the cat. Tuna casserole went in the garbage. Cat found a home.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Art and Life

There was a time when things were different. She'd look at her navel and see lint and immediately start writing about it. Tapping away a noise in the background kept entering her consciousness. Absorbed with the words and flow of language, art would come.

Reading the words, her mug of tea was gone. It was 11:30 am. Time for real life to begin. Racing to the bathroom she showered, dressed, fed the cat, grabbed her purse and stopped at the door. It had snowed. No one told her it had snowed. There was no more snow on her car, the little boys down the road had used it all for an ongoing snowball fight. The road was clear.

Reaching for her car door, a cold smack of snow hit her on her right cheek. Maniacal laughter came from behind her own overgrown shrubbery. Livid, she packed a huge handful of snow and turned quickly to retaliate and slid on ice.

She sat up, her lip was bleeding. The little devil was no more than 5 years old. But he was so concerned. She grabbed another handful to put on her lip and then playfully threw a wad at him. The fight was on. His older brothers came to his rescue.

They helped her up.

“We're building snowmen.”

“You better hurry. Those snowmen will be marching into oblivion with the snow melting.”

They ran across the road deliberately skidding on a patch of ice to finish their work.

She dusted the snow off her clothes, sat down in her car, combed her hair and watched their image in her rear view mirror as they hurriedly rolled grass encrusted snowballs. 

photo courtesy of Donna Bennett

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Why South bashing bothers me?

Why do I have a problem with Hollywood Hillbillies, Honey Boo Boo and Party down South. I hope the families make a lot of money. I am concerned that Kitrell's talent will get hidden in all the South mythbuilding.

It's not a misguided, the South shall rise again baloney. Technically it has risen. Culturally, country music and it's influence has permeated a great deal of the United States and Canada. With Tejano music, the same could be true of Mexico. I just don't know.

It's jobs. I grew up in a South of cotton mill wages. My mom was a factory worker in the cotton mill and the office staff looked down on the mill workers. The mill workers actually earned more money.

I went to college on the Mulroney rider. A little addition to a bill that stated federal workers had to be paid uniformly across the nation. The secondary, possibly tertiary pay scale at Robins Air Force Base had to have the same pay scale as elsewhere across the nation. In essence, my dad got a big raise.

Like my fellow baby boomers, money motivates me. I grew up on specials, discounts, waiting until payday. I really did not suffer. As an adult, I got to listen to one society gal tell another society gal where I grew up. It would have put me in my place but I knew where I came from. Experience tells me it could be a sight worse.

Being 57 and getting too damn close to 58, whoa I know 60 is on the way, what is wealth is much more relative. I had to retire early to be a caretaker for family members. It has value for me as well as them. My fantasy vacation moves further out on the horizon.

Its jobs.  I worry about the Republican fanaticism in Georgia eroding public education and healthcare. I have no issue with Republicans. I do have issue with those that follow the Koch brothers. Being wealthy and born to wealth, I know they probably know things about the world I don't. What I know the Koch brothers don't know is the misery of an individual who cannot get medical treatment due to having no money and/or insurance. I know they have never felt the sting of knowing your opinion does not count for much.

Education has been improving so much in Georgia. Now it is coasting on the dedication of teachers and parents. People who are not consulted when Georgia creates a pro-business tax system with no foresight having an educated workforce. It is true that a student who goes to school willing and prepared to learn will get a good enough education.

What is also true is a poorly fed student who grows up in a home with not enough money, untreated medical issues of family members that escalates into major ones doesn't always know there is light at the end of the tunnel. You give them overcrowded classrooms it takes one heck of a teacher to get them where they need to be at the end of the year. So many people wonder why so many people can't do math. It is simple, anytime someone is under stress, mathematical reasoning weakens. A dad whose patience is thin can be as damaging as a child who is stressed by a lack resources at home.

The Eastern band of Cherokee share their profits from their casino. $6000 per family does not sound like much. However, they are reaping the benefits of parents having less stress and being able to parent better.

When the South is portrayed as an ignorant, hopeless place, businesses do not want to locate here. I've actually talked about two concerns,education and business. You would think I would agree with the pro-business agenda in Georgia. I do. I just don't think you should take so much out of the budget that 19 school systems are on the verge of bankruptcy.

Jobs mean money. I grew up with very thrifty parents who did quite well on their income. We could have lived in a better house but my parents were children of the depression. Owning a roof over your head was much more valuable than house payments. In my dad's later years he told me they had more money for fun living where they did. This is true. They had a good time.

I wish the same for these families. TLC does seem to care about the Honey Boo Boo family. You can see where they are benefiting. I hope the same occurs for the Kitrell kid.


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