Category Archives: kooky
i may have just resolved an ongoing dilemma i have struggled with for years.!.
i don’t want to call myself a perfectionist. my house looks like a tornado touched down, or a collectibles paradise, depending on your perspective. i screw up at work all the time, forgetting things i should remember, making messes here and there, and hearing selective bits of instruction rather than the whole. seems to me a perfectionist would be doing all these things, well… perfectly!
but like a perfectionist, i am very hard on myself. i expect great things from me, and on a sort of unrealistic scale. not that i should find the cure for cancer, because i’m not in the medical field; or that i should discover the fix-it-all for global warming, for same reason. i just always have this nagging, overhead feeling that i am responsible for … stuff. that the world is waiting for me to do something amazing, and if i fail to live my day properly, the fragile balance of the universe will be thrown off balance and must just kill not only mankind, but God as well!
but since i’ve never really figured out what my “calling” is, or what i’m “supposed” to be doing with my life, i have the constant pressure of rescuing everything around me, and the ever-present feeling of impending doom and failure.
some people might say i have a Messianic complex. or point out that my alcoholic father and whack-a-doo upbringing clearly make me just an “average” stereotypical kid from self-destructive, narcissistic parents.
true, that. but hopefully, maybe, i have come up with a miraculously easy mantra for myself, that is both ridiculously obvious, and impossibly profound.
this hard and long winter i have been lazy and enjoying my couch more than my workout videos. oops! but today i was actually engaged in my yoga practice! now, having become a flesh bag of mashed potato instead of muscle, my yoga experience this morning was nothing like it could be, or is normally when i am consistent. and normally i would chide myself for this, and yell a bit about how un-fit my thighs are, or how i can’t believe i don’t work out more consistently, or what a blah blah blah blah blah. you know, just little reminders that i still haven’t saved the world or managed to change the oil in my car.
but i sort of out of nowhere said to myself: “this was a good workout for who i am today”.
now this may not sound earth shattering to you, although it is a nice warm, fuzzy kind of bullshit sounding new age type of thing you can throw around when you feel like crap but really want to pretend you are enlightened.
but for me – someone with multiple personalities – this is the greatest thing to come out of my brain since that last really cool dream i had! because honestly, i never know what each day will bring…
for someone like…NOT me, it might be different. you might have a goal, like going back to school, or running a 5K, or whatever, and meeting that goal can be tough. kids to feed, bosses to please, classes or schedules or house cleaning…tons of stuff shoves its importance into your face and it takes a strong will to reach and complete a goal set for oneself.
for me, it’s kind of an amusement park, or a crime scene. because i have more than one distinctive and developed personality, i have different interests. and i might really really really want to work on a book i’m writing, but if i wake up a little fella – well i might just have to play video games all day instead. or i might wake up a grumpy one, and then i want to be physical, or active, or just watch Dexter all day. or i might just turn into someone who can’t spell or think very well because she doesn’t have the same language skill set that my writer mind has.
goal accomplishing becomes very tricky for me, and i walk around feeling like i haven’t done much of anything ever, because every one of my personalities feels stunted or gypped out of some really rewarding END of the task.
but at least this mantra addresses that; i can just acknowledge that for THIS day, for THIS me, i have done well.
and then maybe tomorrow i can save the world…
Thus far, August is proving to be a rather drippy month here in the middle of Michigan. Which reminds me of that old Camp Granada song, and the promise that fun will be had once the weather clears up. And once they find that boy that’s gone missing.
Which is sort of how my experience of summer camp always went. My older sister – who has yet to realize that she has been living a somewhat charmed life – always loved summer camp. Looked forward to it every year. She would come home with these awesome stories about camp life that would send even the most flat-footed city kid into wilderness withdrawal. To hear her describe it, the summer camp she went to was about two yards away from the kingdom of heaven, and since they sold frosty cans of Mountain Dew in the snack shop she wasn’t that far off.
My sister has always been a popular and persuasive girl. While I was sort of an offbeat, spastic loner, Angie was all smiles, giggles, and unprecedented social savvy. She could befriend anyone immediately, despite the ginormous owl glasses she wore. And that shouldn’t be held against her, because giant, hubcap sized glasses were all the rage when we were junior high types. So despite her legally blind status, she had all the right pieces to play with: cool magnifying eyeballs, Farrah Fawcett feathered hair, and boobs the size of Texas. So she was POPular.
One year while she was enjoying the gloriousness of camp life, my sister and her BFF got a care package in the mail. Since kids were there for a whole week, and most parents rejoiced in the send off but missed their offspring just the same, there was a big “mail room” time every day. Kids sat around Indian style while a camp person shouted out names read from envelopes with hearts and stickers all over them. These letters came from moms and dads, grannies and aunties, and also girlfriends back home who wanted to make sure you weren’t making out with NEW girlfriends. Lots of kids got care packages as well, full of candy bars, snack foods, clean socks maybe. This particular year Angie and her friend got a package that had both of their names on the front. Sort of.
This package was labeled “Squeakers and Peekers”, and addressed to the camp site. The ’emcee’ had a good time with this, I’m sure, however I wasn’t there so can only imagine him calling out these names in a quizzical and humored type of voice. And giggling ensued, I’m sure. Angie and her friend went to retrieve the package, and the emcee asked about these nicknames. Well of course, my sister was Peekers, because of her giant plastic glasses. And once the emcee picked on the two girls for a bit, “Squeakers” started laughing, and the teeny tiny high-pitched giggle answered that question as well. So the rest of the week all the campers – and counselors as well – called out to them as they walked around, “Hey Squeakers! Hey Peekers!”. Instant fame and popularity, just from a package in the mail. Of course, the fact that they were both cute as hell and silly as loons didn’t hurt either.
Her other stories were just as charming and exciting; tales of stringing their counselor’s bra to the top of the flag pole, swimming for hours in little bikinis by the pool, and night time singing sessions by the big fire. Camp sounded so amazing when she talked about it. I was confused about how she always managed to get to camp, since we always checked the “poor as church mice” section of the Census. In fact, our official family motto was, “Money doesn’t grow on trees; that’s why we have this here metal detector”.
Luckily for us the church we were mouses at had nifty things like a used clothing box, and apparently a summer camp tuition account. Or maybe that’s just what my sister told me. Of course she lied to me all the time, but I actually went to summer camp a couple of times myself, so I tended to trust her on this one. Which was my big mistake.
Summer camp was in the mountains of California, which is where I grew up. I can only imagine you thinking I’ve lived in Michigan all my life, and claim to have been poor while I flew to sunny California every year for summer camp. Not so. I grew up in Southern California, in the funky part of Long Beach, and by funky I mean run down, bars on your windows, take you garden hose in at night or it will disappear kind of funky. We didn’t have a college fund set aside for anyone, or a retirement plan in the making. We were more of a “pork and beans three days a week” kind of family. But since the powers that be had smiled on us, summer camp became a reality for me as well.
And it all started off well. I experienced the fun story telling, song singing experience in the bus that Angie told me about. I spent hours riding along other stinky junior high kids, playing 21 questions, or slug bug, or whatever other travel games you play on the road. And I experienced the majestic and magical McDonald’s stop before we hit camp. Living in Long Beach in the seventies and eighties, I had no idea there were these things called MOUNTAINS close by. At that time Long Beach was under a constant layer of smog, which I innocently thought was nice beach side cloud cover. Once we were far enough along in our travels, we hit the famed McDonald’s stop and I knew what Angie was talking about. All the hype was real! Beautiful mountains on the horizon, that I could actually see with my eyeballs! French fries made of magical ingredients. Rowdy kids running loose in a confined environment. I couldn’t wait to get to camp!!
Of course, my sister’s life was vastly different than my own, and I didn’t take that into account. While her experience was all summer fun, popularity and joyful singing to the Lord, mine was more like, I don’t know, a bad episode of the Three Stooges. My “best friend” didn’t run around and giggle with me, like Peekers and Squeakers did. She actually abandoned me right about an hour after we got there and went to find herself a new boyfriend and some “cool” people to hang out with. But that’s OK, because I liked solitude. And all the time alone gave me a chance to reflect on nature. Except that I was allergic to all this nature, and spent the better part of the night hours trying to find a way to breathe that didn’t involve my runny nose. But since I had asthma as well, and the trees were agitating my asthma, breathing was just right out.
And the next day, when we all were “supposed” to play kickball, they didn’t seem to want to let me off because of my asthma. It’s like the counselors I had were the Fun Police, and no kid was allowed to avoid fun for any reason. Even asthma. So I told them I was pigeon toed, and tried to explain the logic of NOT playing kick ball when you have this malady. Soon I was running the bases eating lots of dirt and wondering how Angie had so many great stories. But she had good stories about the pool, so I could always try that.
And I did. Only to see some guy hyperventilating after a swimming competition, and I didn’t have anything as fancy or expensive as an asthma inhaler, so swimming suddenly seemed less fun and more stressful. Maybe I could try the hiking part of the fun. Or did that involve twisting your ankles? Because no matter how short or long the distance, I would twist my ankles. I loved to run, but had these inexplicably weak and wobbly ankles that made me a no-go for soccer, track or – look at that – hiking! And running someone’s bra up the flag pole didn’t happen in my cabin, though I thought about giving it a try. When I thought of the bras in the area, it made me look in my own suitcase which, to my dismay, was packed with way fewer panties than I had thought. Which made me think of taking a shower, except that someone had barfed in the shower the other day, and since the plumbing was pretty slow and horrible, the barf just lay on top of the five inches of water climbing closer toward your knee caps, so wearing dirty underwear seemed somehow justifiable.
I went through the list of awesome stories my sister had told me about camp, wracking my brain for an activity that might work for me. And finally, by the end of the week, I had found my thing. Foosball! in the rec room of the snack shop. Here I could consume sugary, carbonated beverages, bump up next to other un-showered children, and play air hockey, table tennis, or the wondrous game of non-ankle-twisting soccer-with-plastic-people all day long if I wanted. And I wanted. Because I needed to have something about summer camp that was my own fun memory, even if it involved air conditioning, junk food and indoor allergens.
Ahhh…nothing quite like summer.
ever have one of those days where you know it’s “one of those days”, but you don’t know WHICH one of those days?
like it’s not a “this day sucks off the chart as soon as you get out of bed” days.
and i have “dropsy days” all the time, where it seems like i have the Bermuda Triangle in the palms of both hands and can’t manage to hold onto a piece of lint, let alone whatever stupid thing i’m trying to put somewhere. and then hastily “place” on the floor.
there are “full moon” days, where every person i encounter is stark raving nutters.
and “late” days, when no matter how early i get up and get ready, i am late for everything and rushing through my life like a tornado.
today is one of those kind of days; it’s got a feel to it, and it should have a label. but i haven’t found out yet what this kind of day is.
yikes. could be just about anything…maybe even, dare i jinx it, GOOD?
today i found a long lost word from my personal encyclopedia/dictionary. this word was used back in 1984, in a letter to my uncle. my life was dreary (no, ALL of my life, not just the day i was writing) but i saw a light at the end of the tunnel.
“my life is BETTERIZING” i told my uncle. = improving; lessening in horribleness; approaching a level of almost-non-suicidal.
i think i’ll have to incorporate it into my current vocabulary, because it is so VASTLY more interesting than just plain “improving”. what have i been thinking all these years?
i’m filing this under B in my lexicon of weird. (tmark pending)
ok, so I WANT TO BELIEVE. oh. you guys are too young to get that. that’s from the X-FILES. ummmm. yeah, which was a tv show a couple decades ago that was popular, and a science fiction type deal. damn i’m old.
anyway i digress…i am comfortable with the possibilities: life on other planets. time travel. the loch ness monster. i know people who are certain about everything in life, because they read a book that told them how things are and how they will be. i’m not certain of anything. not because i didn’t read the book – because i did – but because there is so much i don’t know about the world. so much WE don’t know, so many unproven, unexplored, unconsidered things … how could you be certain of anything?
well, how do i know how they got there? sure, some people say they were made by a lawn mower, or cleverly placing heavy objects on the grass, but what do i know? it’s possible that aliens used their etch-a-sketch to create fabulous field art.
like this squirrel did here… clearly the aliens wouldn’t be interested in doing anything as small scale as this, so i’m thinking the squirrel people or maybe the groundhogs pulled this off in the middle of the night, when no passersby could ask them what they were doing
My cat isn’t fat. Ok, I mean, if you looked at her you would be like, “Wow. Your cat is pretty fat”. (and heavy) But apparently it’s not her fault.
We comb her out, to reduce what we can, but she is a factory! The hair under her caramel colored coat is fine and wispy, and there are POUNDS of it. When I comb her, it’s like we are living in a snow globe of feline fluffiness! This is after just a minute of combing!!
Next to a quarter for comparison purposes.
Disgusting as this picture is, she has beautiful hair. I’m thinking a wig maker might make me rich if I brought this in! If only I could get her to grow it longer…then I could fiddle with it and have a cat with awesome hair, like this!…
on me and call the FBI to apprehend those in my household ~ this was a Polar Bear nose. Of the Stuffenad Animaleus genus. I made a display at work that was meant to encourage volunteerism; stuff like joining Habitat for Humanity, or World Wildlife Fund, or the Nature Conservancy. That kind of thing. We have all kinds of books on volunteer vacations and I thought it would make a good display, so up went all the endangered toys: leopards, wolves, and polar bears. I put up a few super heroes and tried to imply that you would gain massive mystical abilities by serving your community. I’m pretty sure no one was fooled by this chicanery. While preparing at home for the display, the nose popped off the polar bear, so I just had the mamma bear cleaning the baby bear at work, and no one was the wiser.
Except my sister, when she found what she thought was a random dog nose laying around the house. Now I know there are people in the world who would just say to themselves, “dang it, my kid broke another toy” or “ackk, the vacuum will NOT like THIS”. And yes, these things are logical responses.
But having a life full of wonder involves re-thinking your typical responses. Yes I can just pick up the nose and throw it away, or put it and the broken bear in a bag to give to a charity, or set it aside to mend. But life is so much more magical when I take a moment to reflect, and look at the nose on the carpet and ask myself: what kind of boogers would come out of a carpet’s nose?