2019-11-08 All Backstory and No Conclusion

This week I have disparate assignments. Comments from my mentor on my 3rd big packet of work came back and along with a ton of great feedback was a statement something like, “you’ve earned the right to have a blast with packet 4. Write what you want.” However, I’m still in class and getting those very specific prompts and instructions to write in a very specific way about the subject at hand. What’s a girl to do?

My answer is of course to split the difference. Half of what I write will be the freeform fluff that comes to my brain and the other half will be attempts at completing those pesky, yet quite reliably fruitful assignments.

One of the prompts was basically a repeat of the one earlier this semester where we were to return to the most painful moment of our life and write about it with a new lens. No thanks. Been there and done that and I’m not going back again. Not this time. Which leaves me with only one other prompt which was entirely new.

It’s a long one, but summing up, We’re supposed to put ourselves in a situation that is completely out of character, that We would normally never do, and then record all the results of the experiment. All the sensory input and reaction, other people as well as our own. Obvi it’s supposed to be something that makes us uncomfortable. After that, we take our notes and write some bad-ass poem. Yup. That about sums it up.

When I think about where I am this weekend, alone and left to my own devices, it’s like the universe is pushing me very strongly in a particular direction. I mean, I’ve got from now til Sunday afternoon free and clear for whatever I want to do. It’s ripe with possibilities. AND (and this is a big and deserving the all-caps) it’s also Barcamp weekend. Hold-up.. what??!

Rewind. Barcamp is a conference where a sizable group of people come together to listen to other people give mini-speeches and presentations about their passions— cool tech info, new entrepreneurial endeavors, interesting hobbies, ideas, just whatever. There is a focus track for tech and also those movers and shakers and makers, but there’s also a kitchen sink track which is open for any topic. That’s where I’m going to try and fit in.

Yes.. my plan is to speak at barcamp this year. The sign ups are day-of and you only need a ticket to get in, so very little planning in advance is required. That’s part of the appeal and also, for me, the sheer terror. Thinking too much in advance about it has caused me to chicken out in the past. But now.. I’ve got a prime directive and it’s perfect for my assignment.

Did I mention Public speaking terrifies me? It’s pretty common I guess. I heard once that most people are more afraid of public speaking than dying. Yeah.. that. To make matters worse, I’m not going in super prepared. I mean, I have a topic but it’s just going to be me up there talking. No PowerPoint presentation for distraction, no guaranteed plants in the audience to laugh at my jokes or ask pre-planned questions (The universe better save me if I run out of things to say and it falls into a Q and A!).

Good Gravy I’m starting to sweat just thinking about it. The thing I’m 100% certain of is that I can do it and I will not die. The best I can hope for is to not make a complete fool of myself and come away with some good starter material. The worst? That it will qualify more for that first prompt, the one about the most difficult moment of my life, than the second. 🤪

That’s it for today kids. The title said it.. all backstory and no conclusion. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow for that (as long as I don’t actually die).

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-11-07 Predictable Predicaments

Last night exactly everything I predicted came to pass… from mid afternoon all the way to bed. I said yesterday I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my self all alone here, but I did have an intuition on my side, along with history which always repeats itself.

I took Jim to the airport at 2 and when I came home I scrambled around the house making the beds, vacuuming, and doing one last set of dishes. I just want to exist here in a clean house for four days and there’s nobody else here to fuck it up. Glorious!

Then I sat down and really did not know what to do next. As strange as it sounds.. that was actually one of the most of the most predictable parts of my evening. Left to my own devices, and without chores, and with choice.. what I typically do is waste a lot of time just sitting and thinking about it. Even to the point of like getting irritated with myself about not being able to decide and wasting time.

I opened my notebook and laptop because a few days ago I decided I wanted to try writing a villanelle but after about 10 minutes I realized that’s a huge undertaking and requires a whole lot more thought first. Then my stomach began to rumble and i realized it was dinner time.

There was no way I was cooking. Nope. But there was another decision to make. I didn’t really have a ton of time to eat at a sit down restaurant and don’t care to do that alone anyhow. That leaves me with a quick run for fast food, takeout, or the grocery for a prepared meal I could bring home. Of course I had a craving (predictable) and of course it’s rush hour and of course I don’t care because I want what I want… which in this case was a sub sandwich from Little King.

No.. subway or jimmy johns would not do. Both have issues that really prevent me from ever eating there again. I also didn’t want to risk going to a new place and not being satisfied. I’ve never been to potbelly or Jersey Mike’s. I guess I really am a princess. So I ventured out for that 45 minute round trip and returned home with my delicious sandwich which I barely had time to scarf down before I had to leave again. (BTW, my regular #8 on white made the little king way minus oregano was delicious!).

The event I wanted to go to was a reading by an author visiting UNO. It was the last in the series of readings the university hosts every semester. I had communicated with several other people who expressed interest in going to such things so I was mostly assured I would not be alone. Mostly.

I have one friend who is near and dear to my heart who I’ve known for like 10 years and we always have trouble getting together because of our busy schedules. I was going to pick her up at 7 but she ended up working late and just couldn’t go. The other folks were solid maybes and one of them stayed home too. But! I ended up going and sitting with a new acquaintance from the MFA program we are both in. It was great. It was so nice to not have to sit awkwardly alone like I usually do.

Then I came home and resolved not to be so wishy-washy about the rest of the night. I dug into the first episode of season 3 of stranger things which I’ve been waiting to watch but Jim’s not into it and we only ever watch tv together. The episode was seriously disappointing. I mean, I loved season 1 and season 2 was not as good but still pretty good. This episode was just a mess. I’ll have to watch another just to see if it bounces back.

When that was over it was time for bed and I took a book.. yeah, an actual novel I’m starting to read for fun and not for school. I only read like 3 pages before my eyes got heavy and I knew sleep was inevitable. That was also pretty predictable. If it’s past like 9:30 and I’m anywhere near a bed or couch It just happens. The spontaneous falling asleep.

Despite having nothing to get up for this morning, I still woke up at 6:30am and got up right away. Right now I’m doing that treadmill thing I do and plan to hit my friend Leah’s Jazzercise class at 8:30.

The most predictable thing of all for the rest of this week/weekend? The steps, Jazzercise, and writing. Those are no brainers and I can’t foresee anything that would distract me from doing those things. We’ll see if life has any curve-balls in store.

Life is often predictably unpredictable.

Cheers to That,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-11-06 Strange Things are Afoot at the Castle S

This morning I woke with a weird feeling. Something strange is afoot in the land of the SugarCookie. The stars have aligned and like a total eclipse, something is about to happen which has rarely happened before.

I’m talking about the fact that the kids are all at their other homes and Jim is leaving on business and I’ll be alone for four whole days. Sure, I lived alone for like 9 years where I frequently had the house to myself for days and entire weekends, but here, at the castle, it will be very different. Or at least that is what I’m imagining.

Since moving here last January I’ve not spent the night alone in the house. I’ve never even been alone for an entire day. Jim has gone on business trips, but I’ve always gone with him. The kids and their wacky schedules have made it so that there’s also usually someone else here too. Not only have I had to adjust with the move, the constant goings-on, but also my new role as keeper of the house.

Keeper of the house is loose translation for taking care of all the dishes, litter boxes, fishes, floors, kittens, lost socks, trash bins, gardens, toilets, and side walks. Did I mention the dishes. Good god! Is it sad I’m looking forward to not doing dishes for four days. Yeah, it is. I don’t care.

What will I do with myself for four days? I mean besides work and catch up on school stuff? Will I read a book or binge watch a show? Both of those things seem enticing. I’ll prolly try to arrange for some fun outing on the weekend but I have no idea what that would be. There’s probably some spoken word thing going on somewhere right?

Yup.. it’s going to be just me and the kitty cats trying on different hats and just like that, I’m sure, the time will disappear.

Of course I made myself a little to-do list of things I want to get accomplished. That’s my MO. With all things, balance is key. Moderation is also important. And I need to remind myself however much I do or don’t do, just try to enjoy it. I want to make the most of my time all the time.

Gotta cut and run now if I’m going to make it to Jazzercise.

Cheers to Strange Happenings,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-11-04 This is Not the Coffee Shop I Was Looking For ☕️

It’s nearly 6PM and I feel like I’ve miles to go today before I sleep. I’ve done everything that this day has required of me and am currently sitting in a coffee shop waiting for the minutes to tick by. I’ve a commitment to meet a co-worker who is in town on business for dinner. The part of me that is starving is super excited about it. The part of me that is exhausted wants to call the whole thing off and go home and sleep. But I guess I am more hungry than I am tired. It’s been about 6 hours since I’ve eaten anything and this too-hot-to-drink chai is not cutting it.

Working backwards like Ben Button… I just came from 2.5 hours in a classroom where I was tasked with leading one of the workshops. It went OK.

Before that I fed the fish, did dishes, and put laundry in the dryer.

Before that I had lunch with Jim (left over frozen pizza and a salad).

Before that I baked some chicken for Jim for lunch.

Before that I prepared for workshop and also printed all the stuff that was due today.

Before that I put laundry in the wash machine.

Before that I cleaned the kitty litter and fed the fish.

Before that I put the groceries away.

Before that I went grocery shopping.

Before that I made Jim breakfast and made sure the kids got to school on time.

Before that I woke up and was incredibly grateful that I slept for 7.5 hours (thanks Xanax).

That’s it so far. Hopefully my dinner will go fast and easy and I will be able to cruse home. But wait!! Plot twist. I still have like an hour of work-work to do tonight which is something I told my boss this weekend I would have plenty of time for. I should be doing that now instead of this but I’m just not wanting to jump into it before I have to skedaddle from this coffee shop which is not the coffee shop I wanted to loiter at while I wait for my dinner date.

Apparently that place closes at 5PM on Monday’s – booo!!

Really that’s it. Really that’s enough isn’t it? (It’s rhetorical, of course).

Peace and Love to All Y’all,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-11-02 Counting Down with Mario

About a month ago I had a migraine. That happens. Later I was lying on the couch or in bed and Jim was sitting next to me or laying next to me or just next to me. I was holding my head and thinking of something from my childhood. Childhood being anytime before the age of 25. Back then I had headaches too and sometimes they were bad ones. Sometimes they were worse than that. I remember I used to hold my hand up to my left temple, as that is where the pain always seemed to congregate, and for some reason the placement of my hand, the palm to my fingers pressed across my forehead seemed to make the pain a bit more tolerable.

Likely, this was a figment of my imagination or some placebo affect I created in my head in order to make myself feel like it was feeling better for my sanity if nothing else. I remember this fine detail about my childhood because I made up a little story to go along with my little headache distraction trick. Whenever I placed my hand to my head and held it very still, another layer of bricks were laid there. The pounding in my head was our dear Mario with his mallet just doing the thing that all good Italian plumbers do, hammer away and make big messes (and sometimes crush boss fights).

Our fateful hero Mario would be hammering away at the inside of my skull in his classic red shirt and hat with blue overalls. Every smash through a layer of Brick made the pain worse and every layer of brick that I could lay with my hand holding my head made it better. I can’t tell you how many times before I discovered the miracle of modern medicine that I laid there for endless minutes watching this scene play over and over in my head. The bricks were mostly red bricks but sometimes they assumed the shape and color of blocks in Super-Breakout which we also had on our Atari 2600.

In those instances, Mario transformed into a small white bar inside of my head returning a tiny pixilized white ball to where the rainbow of bricks were stacked end to end vertically from the top of my forehead down the inside of the left side of my face. Always the left side which is really curios. If I trusted the internet I would google if there is significance to that, but you just can’t trust any search engine these days. Criminals with they proliferation of keywords has taken over. The anonymity of anyone posting almost anything has created a chaos in which there is no longer trust that any verified truth is actually true. It’s a damn shame.

Anyway, so I told Jim this story about Mario and my head and how I kept on doing it long into the years when I took meds for my migraine. How I lay there with my hand on my head waiting for the mix of Excedrin and promethazine to knock me unconscious enough that the pain was rendered powerless. Jim said “wow, that’s a great story, thank you for sharing that with me. Probably shortly after that I fell asleep because that’s the only real experience that cures the pain.

A few weeks after that, I woke up one day and decided my left brain needed a name and it’s no surprise I thought of Mario right away. That persistent little scoundrel had earned it! Of course being of a whole sound mind and body this meant my right brain needed a name too. Again, I’m transparent and predictable and enjoy puzzle pieces that fit perfectly as much as anyone so it had to be Luigi. Yup, that lovable sidekick whose green and blue are the perfect comic relief, the perfect partner in crime, the most appropriate taller Italian to compliment my left-brain Hero.

Now whenever I think about my left brain thinking in a certain way— logically or methodically or organizationally or in a sleuthy sort of way inside I say “That crazy Mario is at it again”. And then if I’m trying to apply my right brain, in an artistic or observational or sensual sort of way, of course I say “That’s Luigi hard at work writing all the poetry again”.

So today when I thought about the date, November 2nd in the year 2019 (11022019) and thought about it in a significant way, I realized that it was exactly three months until my wedding day (02022020). Earlier this week it was exactly 100 days. What’s next? Tomorrow will be exactly 13 weeks away, which seems sort of unlucky. That’s Mario though.. always working the numbers.

I wonder what Luigi thinks about how much time we have left before that very numerical day?

Game On!

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-11-01 Friday Toy Boxes, Writers Blocks, and Botox

I’ve been kinda going through a dry spell with regard to my writing. Some would say that’s just a cop out. Some would say you just have to write everyday and the words will come. Some others might say that it’s ok and when it comes again be ready. I’m not sure what camp I’m in. I guess I’ve always had commitment issues.

I guess it’s a good thing I got married when I was too young and stupid to realize how daunting commitment can be. I guess it’s lovely to be young and not so broken by life that doubts dance all around and pop out from behind corners and couches when you least expect them.

I swear I was once a hopeless romantic but reality has a way of twisting that princess dream, folding it into a childhood treasure box and closing a lid on it. I suppose it’s good fortune if it’s still in the closet somewhere and didn’t get hauled down the driveway for some random garage sale like the rest of my childhood treasure. Yeah, at lest some peace from my past remains. Safe and Tucked away for another rainy day.

Where is this going? The Universe only knows. What other secrets have yet to be revealed? I sure as hell don’t know. I don’t think anyone does.

Another week is coming to a close and another month begins. It’s really easier to be a the beginning or ending of anything than somewhere lost in the middle. Perhaps that’s why I’m feeling good today despite my so-called writers block.

Im reading Terrance Hayes’s book, “American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin”. The latest assignment is to attempt my own set of sonnets which I have so far failed miserably at. It’s a block I’ve had with other assignments this semester and it always seems to work out OK so I’m hoping this is no exception. I guess time will tell.

What about Botox? Yeah.. I’ve tried it. It’s like holding ones forehead facial expressions hostage. People always tell me I wear my emotions on my face. I never mastered hiding my surprise, disgust, or joy. Perhaps botox will make me appear mysterious in some way. And level the playing field somewhat; I’m not great at reading people.

That’s it for todays alliterative drivel.

Happy November!

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-10-31 Last Day to Haunt October 👻

I wonder why it is I look at the month of October and instead of seeing success in all the things I accomplished, I see everything I fell short on.

Spoiler alert.. this one twists into a bit of a rant so if your not wanting that in your day.. best just skip it….

Instead of seeing that I wrote like 10 new poems and finally finished a 45 page paper, I linger on the rejection I got from 13th Floor Magazine which I submitted 4 poems to for their Fall issue.

Instead of seeing the forward progress on wedding planning – which would be finally settling on a pair of shoes, finding a shirt for Jim, getting his suit alterations started, designing ordering and receiving invitations. Yes, instead of all that which somehow feels trivial I dwell on the fact that we don’t have a baker for cakes and a photographer. And I just kick myself because it only takes a couple of phone calls to start the ball rolling yet I just can’t seem to do that. I don’t know what my problem is.

Instead of seeing that I finally have my kids’ healthcare situation sorted out (finally, finally after waiting way to long to do it), I can’t seem to get over the fact that I have these outstanding bills and an ex-husband that refuses to give me a dime for anything. I could go on and on about that one.

Oh yeah.. and I quit taking caffeine and then slowly weened myself off of coffee and was super proud of only having like 1 cup of coffee in like two weeks, but it all became tarnished yesterday. I couldn’t quite shake the fact that I was jonesing for a hot cup of something everyday and broke into the stash of “mushroom coffee” that I have. It’s produced by a company called Four Sigmatic (out of Canada I think), and they make a line of consumables from mushrooms and other good stuff known to have specific qualities and properties. What I was drinking was an instant coffee substitute from Lion’s Mane and Chaga. It’s supposed to have the same uplifting effect and give you greater creative focus like caffeine would.

It seemed to work a little too well so I googled it. Come to find out one of the main ingredients is instant coffee. WTF people. W.T.F. So here I was all proud of myself for quitting out on the caffeine and I’ve been having it anyway (at about half the strength of a regular cup of coffee – which is a quarter of what I used to take daily from an OTC pil)l. Still.. WTF??!!

Anyway.. while I’m on a rant which could potentially make me feel better I might as well also point out that in October I had an eye exam (yay for self-care) but then had to come to terms with needing glasses. Then I got glasses which look terrible on me (but every pair I tried on looked terrible because I look terrible in glasses). To make matters worse, I needed bifocals. To make matters worse, the lenses I look are kinda tiny and therefore the area of the lease I can actually see out of with vision correction is quite small.

Think about it this way.. I have to look at the very center of the glasses to get the distance adjustment to look right and not be blurry and I have to look way down at the bottom edge of the glasses to get the close vision correction. To make matters even worse (as if that is even possible). I unveiled them to my daughter two days ago while we were hanging out and she said they made me look old. Ugh!!! That is the very last thing I wanted to hear. Stupid kids and their stupid honesty!!

Tonight I am wiping all my monthly things off of my monthly white-board to-do list and starting fresh with November. I’m sure I’m being overly dramatic but the only redeeming quality of October was that it wasn’t September. And to hell with not having caffeine or coffee. Starting tomorrow I am back on the sauce. My challenge now will be to prove that the caffeine does not affect my sleep at all by getting the best sleep of my life in November. Ha!!

Anyway.. that’s enough of a rant for today. I should get back to doing something productive (or at least start).

Be Safe Out There.. It’s a Spooky World,

~Miss SugarCookie