The Maggie Equation

Our new addition to our family is taking up a lot of time.  Not that we are resentful, just surprised at how much one little animal can impact a family.  Maggie is our new silky terrier and she is very cute…a baby in a dog body, this girl can woo you into babbling baby-talk in 0-60.  I went from being a semi-intelligent half-wit, to a babbling new mommy “Who’s a pretty girl?  Who’s a pretty girl?  Oh, yes Maggie is a pretty girl.  Ooooh” in no time flat…ugh.  It’s funny how your daily topic of conversation goes from the political arena of the province to how many times the dog peed on the carpet today.  I’m even calling home to check up on her.  “Did you brush her?  Is she sleeping?  Did you remember to put her favorite blanket in her bed?”  Ugh…I always thought dog parents were a bit nutty and now I know why.  When you have this face looking up at you on a minute-by-minute basis, how can you not be a gooey mass of a human?

Maggie and her best "Am I adorable or what?" face

Maggie and her best “Am I adorable or what?” face

Her sleeping habits are well…not really sleeping as much as ‘let’s see how I can get my human mommy to open my crate.  I’ll whine my head off and she can’t help but open up this damned door.  Sucker…’  and so it goes.   We’ve managed to get a few hours sleep and she’s getting used to us as the days wear on, but I fear this pooch is going to be so spoiled that come spring, she’ll be expecting us to buy her the little doggie booties so her precious paws don’t ever touch real pavement.  OR, putting little pink bows at the top of her head or going for doggie spa days.  I’m hoping it won’t come to this massive explosion of insanity, but never say nevah…she’s our precioussssssss.  See?  The Gollum-brain is starting to take over….Perhaps an intervention will be in order.

See?  It has begun...

See? It has begun…

 

Lovely Car Noises and Bad Book Reads

The episode-that-shall-not-be-named has been hitting the rounds these days.  I’ve got a few people who know what happened and are only too pleased to tease the fuck out of me whenever possible.  It’s fun until someone loses an eye, people.

I recently read a book that I don’t usually read.  Just for kicks.  Have you read this stuff that is hitting the best seller list?  It was a new release by one of those authors that writes a bunch of books in a week and everyone reads them incessantly and the Best seller people decide to bestow the grand title of Best Seller and there’s mad dash to read a bad book…or three.   Gawd, it was like the cliché-monster was roaming around and decided to vomit all over her pages.  WTF was THAT?  The ending was bad…just bad.  If you happen to read it…just don’t.  Don’t waste your precious and valuable time.  Read something else.  Read Fifty Shades if you have to.  Really.  I’m fucking serious.  It wasn’t that it was THAT bad, it was just….kinda sappy and…uncomfortable.  Yeah.  Uncomfortable, that’s how it made me feel.  I didn’t care if the protagonist got her revenge and I didn’t care if the guy she slept with twenty years ago at a random college party and had a secret love child with (and neglected to tell him that little tidbit) and to whom she sent letters to every year for eighteen years ( so as to get some attention and perhaps cash to help raise the child) only to find out she HAD THE WRONG FUCKING ADDRESS!!…I didn’t care if he lived or died.  It just didn’t make me want to read more.  It kinda made me want to suggest an alternate ending.  Or suggest the protagonist find another hobby. Or stick cocktail forks angrily in my eyes.   Hmmm…So now that I’ve told you the ending, wanna read the book?   I should have posted a spoiler alert….

The WRONG Michaels....she is NOT the author I was referring to..

The WRONG Michaels….she is NOT the author I was referring to..

I’ve been wondering where I’ve been getting all these wonderful readers from lately who drop by and sign up or even read a bit.  And comment.  That’s so nice.  Especially since I am feeling a bit lonely out here underconnected and isolated.  How did they find me?  I wonder…

My lovely car is making a lovely rattling noise that nobody seems to know how it got there. Or where it’s coming from.   Further investigation is warranted, but I’m procrastinating.  AND, the bottom part of the bumper now has a permanent split in it where D1 slid into a snow bank.  Thanks for that, by the way.  Really.  It was better than her slamming into the rear of another car and she felt bad about it until I told her it was cracked before anyway…she just helped it along a little by splitting it completely in half.  I bet the tires will give out again soon just to round out my car-asspain-bit.  Awesome.  At least I’ve never run out of gas at an intersection nor have it completely stall out on a highway.  At least I have THAT TO BE THANKFUL FOR!  Yay me!

So, to round out today’s little bit: I’m getting the shit teased out of me for the episode-that-shall-not-be-named, I read a book that was a bit on the shitty side, my lovely car is making a strange lovely noise and I love my readers…thanks for checking in!!

Memories of Book Club

book-club

I was reminded of my book club days today when I was at the book store.  A woman next to me had asked the cashier if a copy of a particular book had arrived that she needed to read for her next club meeting.  It was my lunch hour and I was perusing the aisles searching for a good read.  I found Alice right where I knew she would be.  The last copy of Munro’s ‘Best Stories’ and I headed to the check out right behind book club lady.

I was about to say a few years ago, but really it was almost ten now, we had been relocated to St. Stephen, New Brunswick for what was going to be a short 18mth stint.  A border town, we quickly became used to driving back and forth between New Brunswick and Maine for milk and gas.  I think it’s a bit harder to do that now, but at the time it was no big issue.  The border guards got used to seeing residents go back and forth and knew the reasons for the regular visits even before their customary interrogation.

In order to meet some new people, the wife of the real estate agent we used to secure a house suggested I join her one evening for her book club meeting.  “Do you like reading?”   I explained my expansive collection and she told me the title of their newest read and where to find it.  “See you there.”

I can’t exactly remember the very first meeting, but I do recall it was colorful.  And the women were not what I was expecting.  Two older women in their sixties who were retired teachers and the ‘leaders’ of the group issued the suggested readings for each new book, and were certainly the most astute of our little group.  They took the club very seriously and initiated conversations regarding the characters and the setting, plot analysis usually followed and then we got down to the stuff they were really there to chat about.  The town gossip.  Ugh.  Since I was a newbie, I was quite happy to be isolated from this part of the evening.

Initially, the books were dished out on a biweekly basis, but since the majority of the ladies in the group had full-time employment, the assignment of reading a new book every two weeks and then analyzing it, became a task too great.  The meetings were rescheduled to monthly sessions that surrounded tea drinking and some Polish Princess references too over-the-top even for the die-hard group members.  I was regularly asked my opinion on the assigned books and I hoped I was able to give a somewhat intelligent answer…you know, other than ‘I liked it’.  I can’t remember, but I do remember being asked regarding our next selections.  I usually left that to the die-hards to dish out.  I still had small kids demanding my attention and a new job to contend with.  Searching reads for everyone to get their hands on with one library in town and a book store across the border, it was a bit tough for the ten of us to find the book we needed and have it read before the next meeting.  I did not want to be in charge of that little experience.  The book titles were emailed at the beginning of each month, or if someone was on the ball, by the time the meeting came around we were alerted to the next book for the next meeting.  Somehow, we all managed.

Shortly before we moved I believe book club hit the skids and disbanded.  The Polish Princesses perhaps became too much for the average working woman to contend with.  Maybe the whole analyzing thing took second stage to the gossiping…it happens.  I wonder if the club got back together to read Fifty Shades?  THAT would have been one hell of a series of trash meetings….

Whatever the reason, book club became a blip in my memory until today.  It was enjoyable while it lasted and I was able to read a few interesting reads and be introduced to some new authors that I otherwise may have overlooked.  Some I liked, some I trashed, but for the most part, book club was a positive experience for me.  Polish Princesses and all….

A Conversation

It’s Sunday evening.  The house is quiet.  The D’s are hidden away in their rooms and Hubby and son have gone off to hockey, leaving me alone with the chocolate cookies and a football game on TV.   Yeah.  Football.  The strangest game on earth.  I don’t understand the joy people seem to get from guys ramming their heads into each other and throwing a ball around.  I guess you have to be a guy to understand it?  Although there are women who enjoy this too.  I can see them in the stands…and the scantily clad ones cheering…hmmm….maybe that’s why guys watch the game.  I’m starting to understand this now.

Why are there no cheerleaders in hockey? They don’t want to get a puck in the nose.  Soccer?  They don’t want to get a stray ball in the side of the head.  Baseball? Waaaaayyy too long a game.  Cricket?  Wait…what? WTF is that?!  A game with a broad stick, a ball and running around...sounds a lot like baseball.  It’s not.  Oh.

Congratulations, you have just witnessed my first schizophrenic conversation!  How do you feel?  A little disturbed?  Slightly uncomfortable?  Awkward and a little unsettled like someone that has been staring at you just a tad too long?? Yeah…I hear ‘ya.

I was checking out some websites of authors.  I’ve decided I don’t like them very much.  They have ‘webmasters’ who design things for them and create their site and decide how everything will look.  It’s like having somebody raise your kids for you.  You don’t actually do anything interactive with them…you just claim their parentage; their blood line.  All the work and enjoyment lays on the hired help.  Congrats!  You are a parent of no one.  A master of nothing.  You post a blog and claim to have worked on it.  Uh, no you didn’t.  You just showed up to the party for the refreshments and the accolades.  Fuck off.

Ugh…I’m complaining about nothing important or relevant.

Awesome post, Rogue! Please continue with your mindless chatter about nothing!

Thanks! Okay.

If I was following my Kingly advice, I should be reading something right now.  But I’m not.  I’m rambling instead.  Filling up space.  Killin’ time.  Foolin’ around.  Such a productive use of time.

What’s new?  How’s life?  Read any good books lately?  Seen any good movies?  No?  Me neither…thought I’d ask….

I’ll get back to trying to figure out the football thing and stare at the last chocolate cookie in the box like it was the last morsel of food on earth, at which time I will stuff it angrily into my mouth and throw away the evidence before anyone discovers it’s gone.  You go back to whatever it was that I so rudely interrupted.  Nice chat.  Let’s do this again soon.

Sadly the cookies are gone.  Bring some next time, will ‘ya?  Thanks.

 

The Taller The Chair, The Harder I Fall

I had a post all ready to go in my head at 7am and now it’s gone.  I hate it when that happens.  I should have immediately gotten out of bed and written the damned thing down.

Who am I kidding? There’s no way I would have gotten out of bed at that hour on a Saturday morning just to write something down.  Pfffttt….

I think the post had something to do with the Stephen King  book I’m rereading…or the stories I’m trying to write…or …hmm…I can’t remember.

I’m thinking it was King’s advice on writing that has me almost on the edge of throwing myself from the tallest chair in my vicinity and ending it all right now.  His expression of ‘there are bad writers everywhere’ has me hoping his finger is not pointing in my direction.  Not that it should…or it would.  I just think ‘Gawd, I don’t want to be that girl.  The girl who writes so badly everyone holds their collective noses in disgust and turns in rapid repulsion.’    Geesh…that would be just, just..fucking sucky.  Ugh.

I like that he suggests writers should read as much as possible.  I like that he attempts to be encouraging without trying to be too condescending or arrogant.  He actually comes off as your buddy who’s just trying to help you out a bit and he may have a few words of advice for we lowly lot…Not that he’s any good himself or anything.  Pfftt…he’s only Stephen King for God’s sake!!

Since my infamous and showy New Year’s resolution to ‘write more’ takes the cake in articulate and profound proclamations,  I guess the King advice may come in handy.    Then again, my new chairs are just the right height….

War Stories

My solitary confinement is beginning to drive me batty.  It’s lonely and smelly in here and I want out.  So, I have relegated myself to writing shorts and sending them haphazardly in the wind to see if anything comes back.  Entertaining as that is for me, there’s only so much story I can write and rewrite without losing what shreds of sanity I have left.  It’s depleting quickly, I’m afraid.  So much for mental health.

I’ve begun doing research on women in WWII and the important roles they played while manning nursing stations during bombings and trying to decode German intelligence while housed in a solitary room with a damned machine and their brains working non-stop.  I want to write a period piece, which is difficult to do.  I want to get a sense of what it was like to live in that time, so reading reams of stories about WRENS and nurses and the ladies of Bletchley (located in England, the house manned women on around-the-clock decoding details, interpreting encrypted messages intercepted from the Germans)  is what is keeping me occupied as of late.

I read a story about a woman pilot who happened to be giving her student a final lesson in the air over Honolulu in December of 1941…not a bad gig, really,  when she spotted a few Japanese bomber planes float by…then she witnessed the onset of what was quickly becoming the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Unfortunately, those Japanese bombers noticed her and she and her student became a target.  She landed the plane successfully, albeit quickly, with only a few bullet holes in her plane. She then witnessed the carnage that ensued.  Her name was Cornelia Fort, an American flight instructor at John Rogers Airport.  There are so many more stories of brave women who lived through the heartbreak and ravages of war that it’s hard to wade through them all.  All of these stories are true testaments to the strength and fortitude of the female sex and our willingness to get involved.  Our dispositions to be the ever-nurturers and warriors despite what is going on around us propelling us into action.  That’s how we roll, ‘yo.

So I sit here reading these stories and studying the pictures and try to imagine myself in that time.  Hard to do with all of the technology we have around us and the ease of how we are privileged to spend our days.  These women contributed so greatly to the war effort, yet received little recognition for their contributions that it’s shocking.  Oh, sure there were medals handed out, but sparingly and with little fanfare.  Their actions somewhat dismissed as ‘duty’ instead of courageous acts of martyrdom for the retention of freedom for their beloved countries.  They may not have fought directly on the battle lines, but they tended to the sick and dying casualties of war with compassion and as much empathy as their young lives permitted.  They stayed home patiently waiting for their heroes to return, only to be forced into raising young families alone.  They worked long hours in factories, they joined movements to support their troops by sending care packages, they organized dances to raise money for the war effort.  They kept nations intact and families going at one of the most tragic and horrifying times in history.

I’ll keep reading the stories and attempt to get my head around their humility and strength during a time of extreme tension and chaos.  My solitary confinement isn’t looking so bad right now….

Fear and Paranoia Are Now My Besties

My blogging days have dwindled since the episode-that-shall-remain-nameless.  Fear has held me tightly within its grasp and I am struggling to be free.  It ain’t easy.  I’m constantly looking over my shoulder to see who’s watching, then I’m incessantly censoring my words to make sure they’re not offensive or distorted; twisted into being malicious.  It’s a slippery slope.  It’s an uphill climb.  It’s fucking craptastic.  I hate thinking someone is misinterpreting what I’m saying as a slight against anything.  I’m simply saying what’s in my gut, people.

Maybe I should have a disclaimer clause at the beginning of each post clearly stating my wanton disregard for other’s feelings on the subjects I tend to complain about.  Or maybe I should have one of those announcers at the beginning of each post, like certain television programs, warning people of the ‘mature subject matter’ and the ‘material some may find offensive’.  I could leave out the ‘contains nudity’ part…or maybe I should include that.  Maybe more people would read on…stuff to think about.

It’s nice to think that some people actually miss me…is that weird?  Hmm…I’ve thought about re-opening the past, but that would just lead to more shit to hit the fan, so I think I’ll leave well enough alone.  If people miss me that much, they could track me down.  Or I could tell them.  Gee, that’s a swell idea.  Invite people to this one..hmmm…I think I shall prepare my formal invitations.  They’ll think it’s a party…I suppose drinks could be served.  And snacks.  Marvelous idea.

I’ll get working on the list.  In the meantime, thanks for stopping by and reading.  I shall be in touch and see what roaming around the ‘sphere I can do without getting decapitated in the process….that’s rather painful…I’d rather steer clear of that, thanks.