The Ant Brigade

Recently I’ve had to accept gainful employment. Tough sell for someone who has been self-employed for quite a while. But it sure beats the heck out of being broke, hungry and homeless.

The job itself is fine, it’s website/Internet related and pretty much right up my alley. And of course you can always learn new things and to be honest I’ve learned quite a lot which will be helpful in future pursuits.

The interesting thing to me is that I realized it isn’t the working a job thing that really bothers me – it’s the ant brigade – aka the daily commute. After just a few short months I feel I have a whole new insight on road rage and bizarre behaviors reported on the nightly news.

I try to be easy going and just go with the flow. But when you are half asleep, driving on a road with hundred of others who are also half asleep, coffee deprived, distracted and actually dreading arriving at the office being easy going can be quite the challenge.

In my commuter adventures my favorite pet peeves are:

The bicyclist who thinks that pedaling down the middle of the lane with 20 cars behind him makes perfect sense.

The senior citizen who is so unsure of the integrity of their brakes that they never take their foot off the brake pedal.

The school kids and skateboarders who want to play chicken at the four way stop when it’s your turn to move.

The guy who waits to turn left in front of you until you are 10 feet away from him.

The fruit vendor who stops traffic because the lady in the hybrid can’t decide which bag of oranges she wants.

The texting idiot who keeps drifting into your lane then flips you off when you tap your horn.

The guy who suddenly realizes he has to stop at McDonald’s and crosses three lanes to get there.

The list can go on and on but you get the picture.

The really sad thing is that most of what I do at the ‘office’ I could do from home in my jim-jams. Unfortunately, companies insist you present a body at their house and jim-jams are not allowed.

*Sigh* I live for the day when once again my biggest commute is from my bed to my desk.

How about you, what is your ant brigade like?

Writer Chick
Copyright 2012

Advertisements

We Be Movers 'n' Shit

Well, we finally decided to give up on the little house that couldn’t and are moving back to the old apartment. You’d think I’d be disappointed but given the bad luck attached to this house I’d have to say I’m relieved.

Yesterday, we became big burly moving machines and got most of the really heavy and difficult stuff over to the apartment and today is the final big push. Looks like though we will be without the modern conveniences of internet, phone and cable (what the heck will we do with ourselves?) for the rest of the weekend.

We are hoping against hope that we somehow magically have internet since the service was never turned off but we really don’t know. So, if you don’t see me around for a little bit, don’t panic. LOL. Okay, just don’t think anything is wrong, how about that?

If by some miracle we do have internet, I’ll be around tomorrow. If not, I’ll see you as soon as we get turned on. Meanwhile, I need to get on my big, burly mover dude duds and my awesome giant mover gloves – now, where is that dolly?????

Have a good weekend folks. 🙂

Gonesville Cool

Way back when – when I was young and beautiful or maybe just young – there was an awful lot of attention on the cool factor. Who was cool, why they were cool, how to be cool like them, if proximity to cool made you cool too, what clothes, sunglasses, makeup, boots, music, activities, attitudes made one cool. Yep, that was really what we all studied in high school, wasn’t it? Well, I know I did. And to be honest I’m not sure I ever really learned what true coolness was.

But as life went on and I escaped the monstrosity known as high school, my view of cool changed. No longer was it about who was on the Varsity sports Teams or Cheerleading league but more about who had some special talent or stand-out-ability. A maverick even. Somebody who basically wasn’t me but whom I could hope to emulate and again, be cool.

I bought all the current fashion mags, duplicated the looks to the best of my ability – made my hair as big or sleek as the trendsetters suggested, wore the stilettos or espadrilles when and where they said, went curly, went straight, skirts then trousers, highlights then lowlights – brown is the new black – green is the new blue – hats are in and hats are out and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

And I guess this just went on for years – most of my life to be sure. But lately I’ve noticed something. My desire and ability to be cool, or even slightly fashionable has completely disappeared. And to tell the truth I really don’t care. I am no longer ashamed to admit that there are some Barry Manilow songs that I like (I Write the Songs & Mandy), that I do in fact, wear brown loafers with my jeans and black sweater, that I often go without makeup, that I will no longer wear shoes that pinch my feet, or jeans that cut off my circulation, no longer have anything waxed (what the hell was I thinking?) and only actually wear sunglasses when it’s sunny outside. I also will not pretend to understand something that I don’t, or nod in agreement about some piece of ‘art’ being amazing when I think it sucks, I have no compunction about walking out on a movie and asking for my money back or am I intimidated by someone because they have more money than me. In short, I am just not cool anymore. I don’t want to be cool anymore.

I suppose I should lament the passing of my cool – if I ever had any (which is doubtful) – and feel a little like the parade is passing me by. But in truth, I don’t lament it at all – it really is like getting rid of a freeloading relative – one that never pays you back for all your trouble. It’s freeing to stop worrying about what people think of how you are dressed or walk or talk or any of that crap. And really it gives you so much more time to do other things like walk in the park, take amateur shots of the nieghborhood, read, listen to music, write – many, many things. So I say – be gone cool. Let the living begin.

How about you? Still got your cool?

Insomnia or I Wish to Hell I Could Sleep…

Yup, I’ve got it and I’ve had it most of my life. My mother said it was because I was born a night owl, whatever the hell that means – apparently it’s genetic or something. But unlike the fact of being ‘trained’ out of being left handed as child (lest I grow up to be a maniacal killer or something) there wasn’t any Dr. Spock on this.

When I was kid, I used to just daydream at night when I was supposed to be sleeping. I’d imagine myself in all kinds of mystical and magical places. From William Tell’s dinner table to the Taj Mahal. I led a rather exciting life in my imagination as you can probably guess. And just as I began to her the chirpy little birds begin to wake is when I would finally drop off. Only to be shocked awake by Ma yelling for us to wake up. Breakfast was waiting, school was waiting, life was waiting. Me, I was nodding.

I also used to try reading under the blanket with a flashlight. That didn’t work out too well because I could never really get the right angle on the flashlight and we had those weird blankets that had that kind of open weave so the light was just broadcasted in a kind of prism pattern on the wall and could easily be seen at the bottom of my door. Then Dad would be grumbling about how kids ought to be asleep. Other times I’d sit in my window and watch the moon, as though it would do something like a little Fred Astaire number or perhaps a song. Ever wake up with you face on a cold window sill on a winter morning? Nope, not a pretty sight.

As a last ditch effort I would sneak out to the livingroom with my lame blanket, jack up the thermometer and sleep on the floor next to the heater vent. Something about intense heat could always make me nod off. As a teen I slept my way all the way through American History and Civics – who knew I’d grow up to be a rabble rouser and a political junkie???

Over the years I’ve more or less come to grips with the fact that I just don’t sleep all that much or all that well. Which for a while worked. Still I could never give up the ghost of finding some solution to it. I started running in order to help my sleep dysfunction – it did help and was really great for my thunder thighs and big ass – but then a car accident messed that up. Don’t you love it when a driver on crack doesn’t see you and forces you and your old Buick through a red light? Mighty exciting. Well then, talk about not being able to sleep – yeah that took couple years to get back to sleep after that but I must say the xrays of my reverse vector neck were quite pretty.

Eventually I kind of found a system of getting some sleep. A certain combination of vitamins, cutting back on caffiene, drinking more water, exercise and watching really boring television seemed to work pretty well. Some nights I could manage to get as much as seven hours.

Then there were those good years when all of sudden I could actually sleep for no reason at all. Those were fine but when they started and when they ended I couldn’t tell you. This year hasn’t been good for sleep. Too much excitement. Too many changes and this and that. But especially these last few weeks. It’s a good excitement and I’m happy about it but is it right that happiness should keep you up nights? That just seems unfair if you ask me.

Anyway, feel free to leave any tips, tricks or remedies you may know of – I’m desperate, and will try just about anything. Meanwhile, I’ll try crawling back into bed and see if I can just pass out from exhaustion.

Are You Blogging Naked?

Don’t get your panties in a twist and keep your shirt on for crying out loud. I don’t mean that kind of naked. It was more metaphor than literal. You know, like the naked truth or the naked city (of which there are apparently 10,000,000 stories)?

I started thinking about this because recently a friend of mine had mentioned they’d been reading my blog as a way of ‘keeping up’ with me and what was going on in my life. And they said, quote, “I really admire what you do there, you’ve got to have a pair of big brass ones to what you do.” Meaning I guess putting it all out there for the world to see. It gave me pause because I don’t really think that I do have a pair of ‘big brass ones’ I am just you know, me. She says with a bit of a confused look on her face. So the concept that someone would read my blog and think I was bearing my soul? Revealing myself? Something like that made me wonder if it was too much. I mean, really who wants to know the inner workings of Writer Chick, after all? I’m not famous, have never done anything heroic or stupid enough to land in the newspapers and I get no special treatment at the local Starbuck’s so what’s to see here?

But it also got me wondering about the rest of you guys. Are you laying it all out there? Is that really why we blog and what we’re doing here? And if so, how come? Scarcity of friends, or people who care to know or does it have something to do with self expression, some need to put it all out there to see what will happen? I really don’t know, do you?

In my case, I don’t really think I’m being all that revelatory – most of the things that I discuss I would discuss with someone in a conversation – you guys certainly don’t know anything about the color of my underwear, how often I shave, my sex life, my love life, or any direct information about my soft underbelly. Though I have shared hopes and dreams, they in my opinion are common among people and none of mine are any big secret. But I will say I strive to be honest about whatever writing about, whether it’s an incident in my life or an opinion on current events. That is something I’ve done on this blog and have aspired to do, to find that honest place from which to communicate. I think we all look for it, want it, hope for it and use when we can find it. Maybe it’s a writer thing that desire to put honesty in what you write, no matter how trivial or important. I really don’t know. But I don’t regret one word, one comma or one post. It is what it is.

Still, I’d like to know about you guys. Are you all laying it out there? Are we really swinging our big brass ones when we blog? Should we be? Does it matter? Would you rather be baking Evyl’s cookies?

Following

About ten year ago maybe a little less, there was an independent film that came out called Following. It was a very quirky British film that centered around an odd duck who by chance one day followed someone, the whole day and watched what they did. For some reason this became a fascination with him and ultimately led him into a whole passal of trouble and he found the tables turned in a very uncomfortable way. I thought it was an interesting film and moreso an interesting concept because it makes one ponder, why would one person want to follow another?

I don’t know if any of you have been followed but I have and it’s a rather surreal experience. Because at first it may seem a bit flattering, you know? Like “Wow, I must be interesting, woo hoo.” But then ego gives way to reality and you really do start to wonder why it is a certain person just keeps turning up wherever you are. How they just manage to be anyplace you are, get involved in activities you are involved in and so forth.

I guess I’m not a total bore, but I certainly wouldn’t call myself fascinating. I just go about my business, have some fun, talk, chat, read, write, have a few laughs. You know, pretty much like anyone else – so what is there to see? I suppose it does have something to do with attraction or maybe it is just flat out curiosity. Is it possible that an average person like myself could be so alien to another that they would feel the need to study me, watch me, see what I do and say? Since it has happened I guess the cursory answer at least would have to be yes.

On the other hand maybe it has little or nothing to do with me, the watchee (if you will) and more to do with the watcher. I ponder sometimes what goes on in a mind like that – that they would follow someone else and just watch them. What would be the point, what need or desire would it fulfill? Is it that they are simply so unengaged in life that they have become a permanent spectator, too afraid to actually make direct contact and outwardly learn about someone, get to know them? Are they just taking notes because they are trying to develop a character study for a story? Is it only the unattainable that interests them? I’ve come to no real conclusions just more curiosity about the whole thing.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? What do you think the motivation is? Why do you think that? I’m seriously interested in your thoughts about this.

I Wonder…Why Life Can't Be More Simple

Don’t you? And I have been wondering it more often lately. When I was a kid, life was the personification of simplicity: Sleep, school, play, eat occasionally, then sleep again. Though childhood is supposed to be simple so that may not be a fair comparison.

I sometimes try to look back to see when things became complicated and there doesn’t really seem to be a specific time that I can point to, in terms of the past. When I was first on my own things I don’t think were all that complicated I had only to work my job, pay my rent, eat, sleep, write, stay alive, basically. But then as we go on in life we start to pick up things. Obligations, debt, relationships and suddenly we are knee deep in all these things that eat up time and seem to add to the confusion and non-simplicity.

While these may be a common part of living life, I often wonder if they are necessary. We dont’ have to run up our credit cards and take on debt, but then things happen, emergencies, shoe sales at Nordstrom’s, dreams we want to fulfill that require schooling or training. We want a home of our own and so we sign onto mortgages, rental agreements, and ditto for cars, and of course family too. Accidents, illnesses, deaths, all these things add up to our sometimes having to take on the burden of others because, well hell it’s the right thing to do.

Then there are relationships – which are very funny animals when you think about them. I mean if you can for just a few minutes blow out the back of your head a few feet and really examine them, it is amazing what you can find. Some relationships are so very good for us, they nurture, they share, there is a wonderful balance of give and take and rarely any issues about who should have done what, rarely quarrels or disagreements, etc. – they just flow like the perfect natural rhythym of a lazy river on a summer day. Beautiful.

Then some are a bit iffy, those in my estimation tend to be family because with family you have this built in obligation/emotional connection – you are supposed to love your parents and your siblings and your children and so on but sometimes they make that very difficult and quite honestly you can’t really get rid of them. They are stuck to you with emotional and historical velcro, so you are forced to solve these relationships and juggle them on a regular basis. Unless you just want to change your name and work for the circus, they must be dealt with.

And then we start to get into the really potentially icky relationships – the co-dependent ones where they are not good for either person involved but are compulsive as though you are forced to play out a role decided upon by a exterior force and often over which you feel no control. These are tough and honestly, I’ve never found a good way to deal with them – generally I manage to tear myself away and try to just never go back. It doesn’t always work but it does most of the time. (For me.) This can be more complicated if they are co-workers or bosses or peers in some way as you are in constant contact with them. Boy, talkr about complicating things – they can really wreak havoc with your life. But they can be overcome, I think – sometimes too if you see your own co-dependency you can stand up to it and then it all kind of melts for lack of a better term. The compulsion just disappears and it’s like a release.

Then of course you start getting into the realm of stalkers and harrassers. These too can add to stress and are difficult to free yourself from. They start out innocently enough, of course you don’t know that that kind of potential is there until it’s screaming you in the face. What to do? Honestly, I’ve never really figured this one out. It can be terribly introverting because I have a tendency to ask myself why I made this happen to me. Why I hadn’t made better choices, hadn’t seen it coming. Which is unfair because I don’t have the power to see the future, nor does anyone else. And though these relationships often come in on a romantic line, they can also come in on a friend line. Have you ever had a friend who became utterly obsessed with you or a co-worker? Believe me, it’s plenty scary and it doesn’t matter if the person is really into liking you or hating you – it still feels like someone is trying to get inside your soul or something.

Jeez louise, what was my point here? I guess my point is this that for me of all the complications that can arise in my life and make my life not simple – relationships are the it for me. It’s because I like people. I like to know people, I like to get other people’s ideas about things, see and learn different viewpoints and leave myself open to that. For me, it is natural and is how I prefer to live my life. The only trick is, how do you keep it sane? How do you factor in those great relationships and factor out the icky ones? I’m not sure I know but I do think that if I could figure that out then my life would be so much more simple.

How about you guys? Same problem? Different?

Mucho Big Bummer

I’m a bummer

in my bummer machine

I make you sad

but keep it clean….

Have you ever noticed how the bummer posts rake in the stats? It just dawned on me the other day. The stats were just hobbling along then boom, a straight shoot for the stars. Curious me went looking for the reason why – sure enough, it was a bummer post.

I checked other peaks in the stats and yep, there they were – bummer posts.

It made me wonder why? Why is it that we are attracted to the bummer posts? Is it just human nature to feel sympathetic? Is it us commiserating with our own brand of bummerhood? Is it our compass? We look for the common denominator and the bummer is the one thing that we all have in common?

I have to wonder because it seems sure attract commentary. I’ve written all kinds of posts – some which I thought were hilarious but apparently I was the only one in the room laughing . Current events – nobody interested. Politics – soso. Controversy? My last controversial post was one of my worst stat days. Yet, when I’m bummed out and I write a post about it – the hits are lining up at the door.

Isn’t that weird? I just don’t know. How about you guys? Does this bear out with you too? I’m just wondering.

WC

Are You Lonesome Tonight?

I realized today that I’m not in a good place. I don’t mean the house where I live or the city in which the house resides. I mean my insides. My head, heart maybe even my soul. I think this was a good realization because it’s making me think and to ask why?

It also made me try to backtrack – to find the time when I was in a good place. Curious really. It seems that over the last few years I’ve become the person I never wanted to be. Less hopeful, less positive, more grouchy, complaining and confused. I honestly wonder from time to time if I’m losing touch or have less of a grip on my senses, especially when I catch my typo’s.

But it’s made me ponder the bigger question – was it meant to be that way? I find myself lonely a lot. I don’t mean in the romantic way – though there is that – but more so in a general way. Most of my friends and people to whom I feel close don’t live nearby – in fact, most of them are at least three states away. With daily life, mine and theirs it’s hard to stay in close touch – some of the connection you get by being in people’s daily lives and they in yours ultimately gives way to the frustrations of daily life, stress, distractions. And I often chide myself for falling out of touch – forgetting to call when I’ve been meaning to, letting birthdays slip past me, not seeing the daily victories and being able to share in them. To no end, really, because what good does that do?

Back to my question: Was my life meant to be this way? Lonely, somewhat isolated, introspective much of the time? When I was a kid I was a bit of a loner. I liked it that way. Five kids in a three bedroom house is a whole lot of noise and chatter and I liked it when it was quiet and I could think or daydream. Maybe that is where it started – I never was the center of attention in anyone’s world, not even mine. My parents had too many children, financial woes and responsibilities to give us much quality time. Each of my siblings found their own way in the world. Their own way to cope with a family that was strung together more from DNA than any kind of spiritual glue. Not that I ever felt I wasn’t loved, I did, I knew I was. But I also felt as though I was regarded as an odd duck, even when I was very small. Like I spoke perhaps not a different language but definitely a different dialect – apparently, it’s all in the intonation, not the words themselves.

So my fate perhaps was set as a child – I would find my own way. Which I did and continue to do. Yet, I can’t say that makes me happy. It makes me lonely. It makes me long for at least one person who will stay constant in my life. One person who would notice if I wasn’t there and be interested in why not. One person who wouldn’t have to move away by several hundred miles in order to fulfill their life plan. Sounds like a significant other, doesn’t it? I wonder, maybe that’s all that it is. If so, I could be in a bad way because I haven’t met anyone who could really turn my head in a long while. Not sure if there is one out there who could anymore. Or maybe it’s me who isn’t doing the head turning. It could be in fact, that I am unlovable. Maybe it’s too icky to get too close to me? How’s that for paranoia?

I wish with all the magic pills they seem to be inventing lately that someone would invent a pill that could grow more adventure in my soul. That could be it – I need an adventure and Zelda is too busy and besides her adventures usually include injuries. Any suggestions?

Can You See Me Now?

Newsflash! Apparently, as of 18 February 2009 a lot of televisions will go dark. Why? Because all the broadcasts will be switching over to digital signals. So, any television (remember that awesome deal you got on a 27 inch screen t.v. at Circuit City?) that doesn’t have a digital receiver will not receive.

You might say, ‘So what? I have cable, no worries.” And that would be true – if you’re willing to pay $30-$100 a month for television it won’t really matter to you. Even if your set doesn’t have a digi-receiver, the cable companies can somehow magically transmorph the signal so that you get it – though likely they’ll just give you a converter box and all will be well with the world. You’ll still get your 227 stations of high grade digitized entertainment.

But what about us schmoes who refuse to pay for television (like me). I have an antenna on the top of my house and I get the broadcast channels, thank you very much. And really I don’t want anymore than that because I actually have to get something done – with 227 channels my ass is glued to the barcalounger and only moves for snacks. What about us? Well, we get a $40 coupon from the government (or so they say) with which to buy the converter box which will likely retail for $60. Though something tells me, that if you’re not low income or can’t prove you’re needy you’ll end up paying the full $60 out of your own pocket. Just a feeling I have so don’t quote me.

Apparently the ‘air” they now use to broadcast television signals the old-fashioned way will be auctioned off for other use. Now, don’t you have to wonder who is going to bid on that air and what the heck are they going to do with it? It seems to me that every square inch of space doesn’t have to be used. We could just let it be, couldn’t we? Nope, it’s going to be auctioned off and it wouldn’t suprise me is Lil Kim of Korea or Imajihad of Iran or Chubby Chavez bought it all up and piped in subliminal messages to us yuglee Americans.

Can you see it now. We won’t have any television reception but strange foreign music will play whenever we turn on the set. Heck, maybe they will even turn on by themselves and order us around. Make us write checks to non-profits for foreign orphans schooling. Suddenly we’ll have the urge to pay $5 a gallon for gas, women will be demanding burkhas from fashion designers and those Eloton John big bug eyeglasses will become all the rage.

Could happen.

If you want to read more about this, you can find it here.