2020-10-29 The sunrise to sunset story of a girl and her RX8…

In 2011, about 18 months after my divorce I was getting new tires on my Escape at the dealership and outside the window I was sitting by in the waiting room was a shiny red car. A beauty. It had dealer plates on it and I asked one of the sales guys if it was for sale. He immediately got stars in his eyes at my question and replied that it was just traded in that morning.

I then asked if I could test drive it and within minutes we were taking it for a spin. That was all it took for me to spontaneously decide I wanted to get a fun car. That’s how I got my 2004 Mazda RX8.

It wasn’t necessarily because I was having a mid-life crisis, because I’d already done that. It was more a statement of “I can do whatever I damn well please!”

It took me a while after my divorce to figure out life as a single girl. The car was a symbol of my independence and success. I didn’t need a man to help me buy a car. Or to help me decide what I wanted from life.

The car was fun, and for the most part, a good decision. But it was also high maintenance. I guess that’s because of the rotary engine. The last of its kind for a reason. Cheers to the Wankel!

But I didn’t care about the potential problems. I drove it to Denver and never worried about the reliability or the engine. I also used it to drive my Z and I to Des Moines for the one and only real dive meet she ever participated in. I could not really drive it much in winter because of the rear wheel drive and low clearance so I got as much fun out of it as I could the rest of the year.

I fell love with Matt and he seemed to enjoy working on things that needed repairs. He was kind of into cars in that way so it worked out. We replaced the sparks and wires when they went out and I got good at charging the battery and checking the oil. The car always needed something. There were always indicator lights lit up on the dash.

I sort of lost interest in taking care of stuff when he and I split and my life went to shit in 2016. And there it sat for a good long while.

A good long while that ended yesterday. The car has been taking up garage space here for almost as long as I’ve known Jim and has not been operational for most of that. We didn’t really need it and it’s not a good car for any of the kids, who are now all old enough to drive. As such, garage space is at a Premium and we made the decision to sell it. As-is.

We spent about $600 getting it operational again and knowing it needed about $1000 more to bring it back to tip-top shape (with no guarantee the Wankle won’t go out tomorrow), we just wanted to be rid of it. So yesterday I drove it to CarMax.

I was only the second owner and the miles were low (66500) for a car that’s 16 years old. No accidents and super clean (good gravy I sound like a car salesman). But all that adds up to a big fat check that will probably feed my poetry submission habit for a good long while. That’s my plan.

Deposit those funds in my single girl checking account which I had named “freedom checking” when I opened the account after my divorce 11 years ago. My little safety net in case something happens in my life right now. Because, folks, you just never know.

Anyhow. So that’s that. My backstory for this bright Thursday.

Last night Jim was busy with other things and I decided to treat myself to a Little King sandwich for dinner. My own personal celebration of the independent life I have now left behind. I jumped in our 2001 Jeep with the big tires, picked up my sandwich, and headed west into the red-orange sunset. It was perfect.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen the sky that color before. The pictures just don’t do it justice. The sky behind the trees on the horizon made them look like they were on fire. I drove until it was dark.

That’s it. Full circle. I hope you enjoyed this stroll down memory lane as much as I did.

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-10-15 Fat Stacks and Train Tracks

Back in my day, children wandered out of their bedroom on Saturday mornings while their parents hid under the covers, behind closed bedroom doors in attempts to get a few more minutes of precious sleep.

We shuffled in our PJs to the living room to sit in front of the TV to watch a thing called “Saturday Morning Cartoons.” Bugs Bunny, Wylie Coyote, and the occasional Justice League are the ones I remember the most. There were not very many episodes or they were all so similar that it felt like watching the same thing over and over. But what details can I recall? Not a lot. To be fair, it was all pretty mindless; not unlike watching YouTube videos of people playing Minecraft, which is where the children of America now wander to.

There is one bit that sticks out in my mind, all these years later. An episode of looney tunes where some character was sniffing out and following tracks. The type of tracks changed from one clip to the next. There were rabbit tracks, fox tracks, and then.. train tracks.

I can’t remember what happened when the character found the source of the train tracks. Did he have a fatal run-in with the train? That would be brutal. But no more brutal that good ole Wylie falling off a cliff over and over and over, sometimes involving an anvil falling too. No wonder we’re all so disturbed.

No wonder we’re all so fascinated by dystopian fiction and so easily desensitized when it comes to a life threatening virus. We should be terrified, but we’re not. Instead we risk our lives daily by getting takeout and sending our kids off to school and having meetups with friends.

In March everything started to shut down. And we held our breath listening to the news as reports of rising death tolls across the globe were reported daily. Each day brought some new horrific tale of hospitals out of equipment and rooms and beds and dead bodies piled into vehicles en route to places they could be taken care of.

It’s someone’s job to take care of the dead. That’s got to be a horrible life. Gruesome. One would have to be desensitized beyond repair in order to handle that.

By May I was crying daily listening to the things Alexa was relaying in my daily flash briefing. I stopped listening for a while.

People were mad scrambling for supplies and the country literally ran out of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. I will admit, while I didn’t try to stockpile these things, we did our fair share of gathering food enough for several months in isolation. We still have the majority of that fat-stacked in the high cabinets of our laundry room. None of it expires for over a year, so it will not go to waste.

I think modern programming has romanticized the end of the world. Stockpile your food, and guns and ammo, and medicine and you’ll be winning in the end. Never mind your neighbor, who can’t see so good anymore and sits most nice days, in his garage, dozing off.

Never mind your mother’s husband with Parkinson’s who was moved to a home this week because your mom can’t physically take care of him anymore.

Never mind that guy standing in the median with a “please help, god bless” sign as you wait for the light to turn green, nervous and avoiding eye contact.

Just never mind.

And what about this winding track of thought? It will all be ok as long as you don’t follow me into the dark tunnel ahead like that one hound.

By the way, I looked up that episode of bugs bunny. It’s 6 minutes 44 seconds long, called “Foxy by Proxy”, and not quite how I remembered it (big surprise). The dumb hound does get convinced by Bugs that he’s actually supposed to be catching a train. He does run into the tunnel and does not get injured when he “catches” the train, the rest of the pack of hounds falls off a cliff, and Bugs Bunny get’s his tail cut off in the end. Amazing that a person can find almost anything online. Saturday morning cartoons for all to sustain us through these end times.

I suppose it’s time for me to get to work (whatever that means now).

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-09-11 Does Time Have Memory?

Time is a construct. It’s a concept developed by humans to keep track, count, measure, and communicate. We also use instances in time to attempt to accurately remember. Humanity has many flaws and we’re all afflicted by the loss of time and an inability to retain the sharp details of experience.

The farther away we get from an experience, the more the truth of it dissolves into a mix of perceptions based on all that has happened since.

People may ask, “Where were you on that day?” And you might remember but how much do you really recall? What did you have to eat or drink? We’re you alone and depressed and just trying to get through the morning? Did you stop by the store on your way to work to buy a Carmel apple to enjoy as an afternoon snack?

Did you forget about that apple as you huddled around a radio with coworkers in the room next to your office, listening as hundreds of people scrambled for their life as the towers came down.

We’re you full of horror or sadness or disbelief. Or we’re you lost in space and time just trying to comprehend the news. Did you fall into a state of helplessness and kick into auto pilot.

Perhaps you arrived home from work that day and had a conversation with your spouse who was also struggling to make sense of all the chaos. And after having brief communication with family, decided there wasn’t anything that could be done and so why not drive to Lincoln as planned to have dinner with them.

Maybe you sat around a Japanese steakhouse grill table while the chef sliced and chopped meat and vegetables and rice right in front of you. Did you take turns letting him flip shrimp into your mouths with a spatula? Did he spin and toss eggs into his hat? Did he make a volcano of fire with a stack of onion rings.

You’re sure you had a soda with your stir fry. After all you were 3 months pregnant. That was before you gave up soda. Come to think of it, that day predates a lot of changes in your life. Big and small. You had two children—a girl and a boy. Got a divorce. Went to Europe alone. Fell in love a few times and had your heart broken. Learned how to be independent and found out what truly makes you happy—makes you sing.

There’s a lot you remember but do you remember the drive home that night. Or tuning into the news for answers. It would be days and weeks and months before there were any real answers. Followed by a war.

You wouldn’t really know the whole story until about 18 years later when you visit New York City with your new fiancé and his kids and yours. You walk through the 9/11 memorial past pictures and displays and giant bent pieces of Steele that were once support beams for the twin towers. You walk past a fire engine that was partially crushed presumably by concrete and debris that came down as the towers fell. You listen to the audio on your headset as you walk and try and hold back the tears.

You walk beside the daughter you were carrying inside you on that day. And you think about how unfair life is that you get to be with her, here and now, while so many other people lost their lives or loved ones. It makes you both sad and grateful. Grateful for your life. And grateful for time.

There’s a wall at the memorial, as you descend to the deepest level that has a different color of blue tile representing each individual that lost their life during the tragedy that would come to be known by the name nine-eleven. The words on that mosaic say “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.”

But time does not have memory. Time is a construct and does not live or think or remember. Only people remember. And it is what they remember that is passed on through to others. The only way that the memory of those people and that day will survive the test of time, is through stories and retelling and words of people who were alive at that moment. And their children who will, in turn, tell their children.

No time shall erase you from the memory of that day.

Never Forget,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-08-19 Miss SugarCookie Attempts to Answer the Question “What are you gonna do with your life?” 😉

Spoiler Alert… The answer is just Nothing.

I’m an all or nothin kind of girl. You know, I don’t have it in me to do things “half-ass.” I just don’t. Sometimes I wish I could, you know. Just do a thing and get as far as I get and say “good enough.” Believe me, I’ve tried.

That’s why this work-life balance puzzle has been so rough. I’m sure my company knows that. I’m positive that they know that if they ask for my involvement, I’ll be in it to win it through to the end. We can all look back and agree that what they asked for was “as much as I wanted to offer.” But the reality is that if I’m given a job to do, I’m never gonna say “I’ve worked my quota this week so the rest of this pile will just have to wait.”

I’ll keep putting in the hours until it’s done and done right. And then my husband will come home from work and ask what I did that day. And it includes just work and more work and nothing he’s asked me to do. I know it’s bad when I hear the garage door go up and I rush downstairs to take the trash out or unload the dishwasher or fold the towels so it appears I’ve done an ounce of something supportive of our household.

In truth, I’m just not very domestic. I’d rather work than do house chores. I might complain at times but I almost always enjoy my job. That’s why quitting was such a tough decision to make. But I did it.

If it has to be too much or nothing, I’m gonna try nothing on for size for a while. I’ve told a few folks. People ask “what are you gonna do now?” The truth is, I don’t know. Be a better wife and mother. Try to be a writer for real. Or something else? 🤷‍♀️

Will I be busy or bored? I know when I took time off in 2017, it was fantastic. I worked on myself and my health like a boss and it was great. I was happy and took my kids on some seriously wicked good vacations. And I re-discovered how much satisfaction I get from making art.

I started dating again and enrolled in an MFA program. Toward the end of that 6 months I re-engaged with society and figured out what I wanted from a job. Figured out that what I wanted was a job and not a career. And I was picky about it. It was going to be the right job accepted on my terms. That’s exactly what I found.

That was at the end of 2017 and the company I was hired on at was the same one I quit from this week (though I of course Agreed to stay on through soft-launch at the end of September).

In the past 2.5 years with them, I’ve learned a lot about myself and probably also more about how corporate culture works no matter how small the company is. In the past 2 years my life has also been altered in some pretty significant ways.

When I took that “part time, 25 hour a week gig”, I could not have imagined I would be meeting my future husband. Or moving or getting married or having step-children. Nope. There’s no crystal ball folks and life is so very unpredictable.

Now it’s almost 3 years later and I’m almost done with that MFA program and looking forward to the future.

Perhaps I’m still trying to convince myself that my decision to quit is still solid, and that’s the reason for this post. I mean, the horse has been beat dead for a while now where this blog is concerned. Why am I still writing about it? There has to be a reason.


It’s Wednesday and I’m taking the day off. Cuz, like I said it’s all or nothing and today I’m choosing nothing.

Which is, of course, not really nothing.

Instead I’m going to a doctors appointment and lunch with my mom and drive my son to and from school. I’m gonna catch up on some correspondence and have a friend over for a backyard happy hour this afternoon. And then hopefully roll into the evening with a bit more vim and vigor than I usually have. Sounds pretty great right?!

Anyway. My hour is up. Time to get on doing all that nothing. 😜

Cheers to Hump-Day!
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-06-13 Rejections, connections, and Strawberry Pie 🍓🥧❤️

I’ve had a few communications with folks lately about rejection. Anytime you take a risk and put yourself out there and pin hopes on someone else’s reaction, you are subjecting yourself to the possibility of rejection. I’ve got two specific instances to share with new insights.

In this not-so-new-anymore world of electronic communications, a person can sit at their computer and submit poem after poem to dozens of different places. I can’t claim to hit this kind of volume, but I have spent a fair bit of my free-time lately doing research, tailoring my bio, writing cover letters, and selecting and editing appropriate pieces.

Most people I’ve talked to about this process say things like “keep going and you’ll be able to paper your walls with those rejections”. However, that’s just not how it is anymore. There’s no paper.

No. Instead those rejections pop into your electronic in-box and end up interrupting your day at very unexpected times. We no longer walk to the mailbox with a measure of anticipation and hope. Nope. We send our babies out into the world and when they cone back, rejected it could be mid-morning in the middle of a work meeting you’ve lost interest in. You toggle over to your personal email and open that electronic rejection.

There’s nothing to do then. No physical evidence of the rejection (I suppose unless you printed it out). If I’m in a rotten mood already, it’s like I just shrug, and say “thanks universe, go ahead and punch a girl whose already down”. Whatever. I didn’t need to win that AWP contest or have my words appear in “32Poems” anyway. (Two very recent rejections).

If I’m having a good day or my dauber is up, it’s kinda like “so what, universe, my life is good and I don’t really like cake anyway, so the jokes on you.”

The lesson I’m working out here for myself, is that I’m doing pretty good not letting it get to me. I’m not hanging my hat on any acceptance or rejection. I’m not judging my self worth based on someone else’s opinions of the fruits of my creative labors. I’m writing these poems for me. Kinda like this blog. It’s just for me and though it feels good to know people are reading it and sometimes click the button to like it, it’s that’s not what gives me satisfaction. It’s the act of writing, documenting, thinking, and those moments where the light bulb goes off and I actually sort out an issue or find some conclusion to a troubling issue. Those moments are priceless!!

The second instance of rejection that’s relevant today, and not as easily dismissed has to do with Father’s Day. I’m certainly not alone in my plight with the “holiday”. It’s a Hallmark holiday that tends to remind me of the rejection I’ve experienced with regard to my relationship with my dad for many years now.

He’s got his family. His wife and her kids, grand kids, and great grandkids and they have the relationship I’ve longed for my whole adult life. They hang out. He babysits his great grandkids. He’s spent countless hours with them and almost none with me or my kids. When we try to participate in family events, we’re made to feel like outcasts. We’re literally the red-headed step children nobody seems to notice. Huddling near each other with nothing to contribute to the conversation. Our lives are so disconnected.

It’s rejection at a deep level. Something I can’t shrug off like a poem some random stranger didn’t care for. These are my real children not having a relationship with their grandfather. Now when I ask if they want to go visit, my kids just say “naw”. I don’t force them.

As their mother, I want to protect them. I’d rather they not feel the rejection I feel. I’d rather have them put their energy into relationships that are positive and supporting.

On my wedding day four months ago, when we were taking pictures during the reception, I requested one with just my siblings. As they came around me, the moment became emotional for me. With an 18 year spread among us, it’s rare to have a moment in life together. I began to cry. I had to regain my composure for the picture.

After that moment, my dad asked me why I was crying. I told him the truth. That it’s not often we get these opportunities to be together as a family. That it’s important to me. It’s part of the reason I wanted to have a wedding instead of just running to city hall or eloping to some exotic destination. I wanted to see my loved ones and come together in celebration.

I honestly don’t think he gets it. Or maybe he gets it but is unwilling to change the situation. Change is tough and it takes effort to maintain positive relationships. You sometimes have to risk rejection.

I did that last Christmas. I tried. I subjected my love to it too. We attended Christmas dinner at my step-nieces house. It was disastrously awful for Jim and I. I’ve never felt so out of place and unwanted in my whole life. On the way home from that event, I cried and promised Jim I would never do that to us again.

But now here I am. The day before Father’s Day, preparing a gift for him and his wife. I’m contemplating setting up a visit to deliver the gift (home made strawberry pie using his moms recipe) I’m considering making my kids go with me. I’m hanging my hat on a positive reception. I’m rejecting the idea of being rejected again. I’m hoping it’s not too late to re-establish some connection. It’s probably foolish.

Why do I feel the need to do this? Where does this need for his approval come from. Has it just been long enough that I need another reminder of how it is, or how it probably will never change? I can bake strawberry pies year after year expecting a different result. It’s not just foolish, it’s also really pathetic and sad.

If anyone ever asked me about my relationship with my father (which people don’t). I would say “it’s kind of a cats in the cradle thing”. I can’t help but think about that song when I think about my dad.

Anyway, that’s enough lamenting about rejection for one Saturday. Time to go cut strawberries and crush graham crackers. Whatever.

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-29 “Everything’s cool as long as I’m getting thinner”

That title is a line from the Lily Allen song appropriately titled “The Fear”. Half of the lyrics are about life and mass consumption and the way we seek after fortune and how society is all fucked up. The other half is confessional. It’s Admitting to confusion and not knowing what’s real and feeling taken over by “the fear”.

Every morning for a good long while, the first thing I do after getting out of bed and going pee is strip naked and get on the scale. And each time the number is lower than the day before I say to myself “everything’s cool as long as I’m getting thinner”. I can’t escape that line repeating in my head in the same way that I can’t escape my negative body image or my struggle with having an eating disorder.

I don’t talk about it much and very few people know. You know, anyone who reads this blog (which is like 2 people and about 384 WordPress bots), and my ex husband, and my current husband and Vis and Matt and Josh. Not my sisters or my mom or my girlfriends. That’s curious, you know. Just the men in my life.

It’s a clue, I suppose. But a clue to what? My continued struggle. Is it because I was conditioned and broken by my ex to be this way? Yes, I blame him and can’t escape seeking the kind of body image he held in such high regard. It’s ok for me to blame him and society and the standards that I took so much to heart that I repeatedly put my finger down my throat after so many binge sessions.

And not just binge sessions, but snacks and regular and reasonably portioned meals. I’m going to stop the backstory there. Rehashing history is not my aim today I wrote a lot of that out a while back after reading “Wasted” my Marya Hornbacher. May 6, 2019 is when that was posted.

I know that because I recently read a blog post from a friend of mine who was addressing her own issues head on and giving advice. It was a fantastic post an I know how hard it is to get it all down and share it. It was really well written and great advice. She’s one of the gals in the MFA program I’m in and we both participate in a writing group on Tuesday nights.

The other women in the group gave her great feedback and all I could say was “this is a great post, and asking if it was a first draft”. I wanted so badly to reach out to her and talk about it more, but didn’t. I couldn’t. I thought about quite a bit in the days to follow and am obviously still thinking about it. I still want to, but I’m afraid.

Why can’t I trust that we can talk about it and support each other? Why do I feel so alone with this struggle? Why do I step on the scale every fucking day, letting that number dictating the mood for the start of my day. Like the song says “I’m taken over by the fear”.

I’m afraid that if I say something to my girlfriends they will look at my thin body and be upset with me. That they will just say, you’re just so tiny and have nothing to worry about. But that’s not what I need. I honestly don’t know what I need though. That’s the truth at the heart of the matter.

I guess maybe my fear comes from the possibility of being rejected or dismissed. In my heart I don’t think that is the reception I would get if I tried to talk about with these women but that does alleviate my fear. With matters of the heart, things are often irrational. It’s just a rock and a hard place and I’m stuck between.

I confessed on May 6, 2019 that I had tried purging again after being “clean” for a good long while. And after, I knew it was a mistake and felt really shitty. It hasn’t happened again. It’s just sickening to think about actually.

But somehow all the stress in my life right now has triggered the re-release of the ugly beast that takes over my brain and makes me want to lose weight. It never really goes away, mind you, but most of the time it’s a passing thought I push down.

What’s the thought? Well.. if I can just lose about 5 pounds, I’ll be happier. That it will make my life better. It’s so dumb. But now the beast is in the drivers seat and I find myself eating less and less and going hungry sometimes and not eating. And then stepping on that scale and finding satisfaction when it’s a little less than the day before.

When I got married in February, my dress was a size 4. I weighed about 120 pounds. This morning, I weighed 114.0. One part of my brain says, thats enough already and another part of my brain thinks that 113 would be better so I have more of a buffer in case I want to indulge a little over the weekend.

I’m walking right now, and I’m hungry. And I’m thinking about what I’m going to allow myself to have today. It’s Friday. It’s that weekend coming up and I went to the grocery today. I bought stuff to make strawberry pie. I’m thinking about what I might sacrifice so that I can eat pie. How fucked up is that?!

I just can’t continue to write this. Writing it makes it clear how ridiculous I’m being. I need to take charge and fix it. I want to talk to my friends. I need to talk to someone. I need to push back against “the fear”. Everything is not cool.. if I keep getting thinner.

Searching for peace,
~Miss SugarCookie

If you’re interested in more of that backstory. Here’s my post from 2019:


2020-05-16 Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright

Bob Marley got it right.

Three Little Birds is just one of those iconic songs from my past that returns to my mind again again in new situations and brings with it the history that my brain has attached to it. And despite all the hurt I’ve ever experienced, and negative nostalgia attached with some of those times, the song still makes me smile.

It’s like those words are untouchable. untarnishable, and timeless. That’s when you know something is truly golden. The return and remembrance and power to evoke thoughts and, bigger still.. feelings.

The first time I heard that song was in high school at a house party that my friend Danielle threw while her parents were out of town. Danielle was the youngest of 7 children and she was born on Christmas Day. Her parents were strict and very religious. But I suppose having 7 kids would wear anyone down to turning a blind eye to unwanted teenage antics. Like throwing parties when you are out of town.

I was a goodie-two-shoes and didn’t drink, save for a wine cooler or two. And the “getting drunk” was something I didn’t understand. I remember sitting with people I didn’t know and that song came on and I just sat and listened to the words as the conversation swirled around me. It was a beautiful moment.

That’s all I remember but I still have a picture someone took (probably me) of my friend standing next to the open refrigerator like Vanna White proudly displaying all the adult beverages. I can count on one hand the number of house parties I went to in high school. Yup.. that’s just how it was for me.

I also remember hearing the song when I was dating my first boyfriend and I knew the song and he knew it too so it was a connection for us. It reminds me of falling in love. And like I said, despite all the hurt he’s caused me over the years what I feel when I hear that song is our falling in love. That’s incredible.

I sang the song to my babies when they were babies and remember the overstuffed rocking recliner I bought to nurse them in their room. Quiet moments in the early morning filled with love for them and also hope that they would go back to sleep for a little while longer. I don’t connect it with the colic or crying.. just peace and quiet.

Now, as this pandemic wrecks havoc on our lives, I have had the occasion to think about that song and find peace in it.

More info than anyone needs to know, but Jim and I have a chalkboard in our master bathroom and right now I’ve got that iconic line “every little thing gonna be alright” written out with a pic of a tiny bird sitting on a branch.

Every time I see it, it makes me smile. It also makes me think.. I should draw two more little birds to round out the trio. But then I don’t.

This morning I woke with the rising sun. The sunrise was absolutely amazing, from what I could see from our east facing windows (not a great view because of the trees and the position of our house in the neighborhood). The house was quiet and the only other life awake in that moment were the birds outside and the cats.

I tried to get a picture and then retreated back to the living room for a little quiet time alone with my thoughts. Besides that song, the other words that are repeating in my head right now are “this too shall pass”.

The pandemic will end. Life will go back to normal. We will all be affected by what has happened in big and small ways and probably normal life will be a little different too. But in the end, every little thing IS going to be all right.

Peace and Love,
~Miss SugarCookie

2020-05-07 Cheers to 16 Years!… 💚💙💚

Today I slept through Jim’s alarm and didn’t wake up till 7:15 and was groggy. Strange to wake up alone and miss making breakfast and seeing him off to work. Strange to wake up alone In the house as no kids are here either. Strange to shuffle around In silence, asking Alexa the news while doing the dishes and cleaning litter boxes

Strange and sad to do these normal chores while thinking about how 16 years ago today I was in a hospital bed with an IV Pitocin drip, watching some random movie, waiting for the anesthesiologists to show up and give me an epidural.

It sucks to not get to spend the day with my son, which is our tradition. Normally on his birthday he would get to skip school and I would get to skip work and we would spend the morning and afternoon together. Doing whatever he wanted. But not this year.

This year he’s waking up at his dads house and I’m alone here. No doubt he’ll be skipping school anyway as he has been doing that for about a month now. And I’ll be lifting myself up to my office to work in about 30 minutes and sifting through about 30 hours of work to figure out which things are the most important.

What I would really like to do is get out and plant those annuals and water my newly planted veggies and continue to think about this day in history.

If I can’t be with my son, I’d like to be alone with my thoughts about the fact that when he was born, we didn’t have a name picked out. How we let people who came to visit make suggestions and kept a whiteboard where people could vote. It wasn’t until the last day in the hospital that we landed on the right name. And his sister, who was two years old at the time couldn’t talk very well yet could not pronounce it.

She said “Booker”. That actually stuck for a while and after a few weeks we actually thought about changing his name to Booker. But then magically one day she started saying it better, and so the idea of switching his name faded away. She would not be able to say it correctly for a while though, because of trouble with the “R” sound at the end. She’d call him “coopa”.

Sometimes we still call him Coopa. Or Coopa-Troopa. Come to think of it, both my kids had issues with the “r” sound and both saw a speech pathologist in elementary school for this. I’m inclined to think there’s some genetic reason for this. Or maybe their dad and I just did not do a good job enunciating our “Rrrrs” when we would talk.

Should have talked more like pirates when they were little. I Guess.

He’s 16 and has no interest in driving or getting his license. So different than his sister whose goal in life when she turned 16 was to go to the DMV and get her license. Crazy to think about all the ways they are so alike and all the ways they are different.

We did have a FaceTime call earlier and I was surprised he was awake. What a bummer to be stuck at home on your birthday and not get to do anything special to celebrate. When he does get to come back (hopefully sometime this weekend) we can do some special things. At the very least, I can cook him his favorite meals.

Chicken and rice stir fry, macaroni and cheese, veggie straws, grilled cheese sandwiches, chocolate covered donuts, roasted asparagus, vanilla chai, cream soda, buttered noodles, ramen, steaks on the grill, goldfish crackers. No fruit EVER. 😜

Writing this post is starting to make me hungry. Ha!

Time to get to work anyway. Guess my lamenting the strangeness of this day has come to an end.

Cheers to 16 years and many, many, many more! I love you C, Booker, Coopa, Coopa-troopa, Super Coop.. My Buddy, My Cooper.


2020-04-29 Mathematics and Other Tragedies

I could draw myself into a spiral. I could pretend to be a straight line or paint my life as an isosceles triangle in perpetual motion. The faster it spins, the more the points blur into circles that create borders that can’t be penetrated.

If I was reborn as a star, would I have five points or six? Or Seven!?? Would I be a better poet if I was a broken heart, or the zig-zag white space between the two separate halves.

Hearts don’t ever break in half. It’s never an equitable split. Most are fragments shattered like that round dish that was dropped on accident or because it was too hot to touch. And there are never any answers for that. Just possible explanations and plausible deniability and revisionist history. What geometric shapes are those? It must be a chapter I haven’t gotten to yet.

I’ve spent so much time with my face on the the floor because of gravity.

I’ve spent so much time enduring air travel trying to escape gravety.

I’ve spent so much time trying to learn how to finish this geometry so I can finally move on to algebra 2.

I fear there’s a long way to go before gravity will start making sense.

So many apples. So little time.

You’re welcome for that nonsense. You know a lot of the poetry I write is sort of nonsense. Or based on little connections in my brain and sparks of thought where one thing just leads to another. I think the closer I get to finishing this mfa program, the more my brain will feel the freedom of writing what I want to write again for me, and my sanity.

I’ve spent so long studying craft that it’s altered my perception of reality. It’s hijacked my creative instincts in some way. Or perhaps it’s that my life is just good now so I have less to muse about.

Here’s a secret (spoiler alert, some “poor me” might slip in here). Once upon a time I was in love with a guy. And having been previously conditioned to have a fear of commitment, I was unable to go all-in. Right up to the day that I realized that’s all that was left for us. So I tried it.

I convinced myself with this little nugget of logic .. if my heart gets broken, then I’ll just have so much good poetry. Yes, I actually told myself that. That was me bargaining with myself to tip the scales in the favor of the “all-in” option. It worked.

Then, wouldn’t you know it all fell apart after that and my heart got crushed. And then you know what happened? There was no fucking poetry. I just cried all the time and couldn’t write a single line of a single poem. I wrote a lot of journal entries (mostly because I didn’t have close friends to talk to), but the empty space where those poems were supposed to be crushed me even more.

I had trusted myself, and was betrayed. So I said “I’ll never do that again”.

Yeah, so that’s that melodramatic charm of mine coming through again.

Fast forward 4 years and I’ve finally found a few lines and arranged them into a poem and it was such a clinical process that I actually learned something about myself and also about the art of making poetry. That was the point I guess. It passed the JP test and made it into my thesis manuscript.

I’m attached to the idea of it more than the poem itself.

After my heart was broken in 2016 I turned to a guy friend for comfort. I thought I loved him too. Which is a blurry line.

I loved the idea of being in love with him.

I loved the way he spent so much time with me and listened to me and held me when I cried.

He was always clear with me “we” could never be, so it was safe. I didn’t have to worry about the unknown quantity in the air after I said “I love you”. I knew the response and that was in some fucked up way, really comforting.

If you tell someone you love them, the Tough part is in having their response be unexpected.

What have I learned? That I really loved Matt, and that I really loved Josh but for different reasons, and Vis, and of course Brian. Stitch all that together and the picture becomes more complete. It’s a complicated shape. Still a bit above my current geometrical comprehension, but I’m nothing if not a diligent student.

What other option do I have anyway? That’s life.

Thanks for hanging in with what was not intended to be a rehash of my broken heart again. But, I will take all I can get.

~Miss SugarCookie

2020-04-28 Hidden Tracks, Nostalgia, and Serious Feels

I’m listening to a new playlist I created last week. It’s pretty much the bomb and full of songs I’ve forgotten I loved so much and some new ones I didn’t even know I owned.

Each new selection leads down another road of thought, which is pretty incredible, but it makes me feel sort of ADHD. I can’t focus.

One minute I’m sad because I’m reminded of Matt and how our relationship ended (“Poetry by Dead Men” by Sara Bareilles) and the next one leaves me dancing where I stand (“In Your Room” by the Bangles) or laughing out loud (Sweet As Whole by Sara Bareilles). Then there’s “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette.

That came on just as I was finishing up on the treadmill and though I like that song, it doesn’t really do anything for me. I listen all the way through though, because I know what comes after… a song that was “hidden” on the CD on the same track as “You Oughta Know”, but you have to wait through a minute or so of silence to hear it.

That’s right. Some of my music comes from CDs I ripped and imported into my music library years ago and the “Jagged Little Pill” CD was one of those I’ve had since I was 20. My first thought when I knew what was coming was how kids today will never understand hidden tracks or secret songs. They get their music streaming from some service and so those golden nuggets died off with the CD.

I wonder if CDs nowadays still have those things? Hmmmm.

My second thought? Well… I gotta listen to the song but it always makes me cry. She sings about going to her lovers house and enjoying spending time there alone, thinking of him and musing about their love. Then she finds a letter on his desk from another woman and it takes a turn. She’s instantly heartbroken and leaving salt in the bed. It’s an incredibly moving song for me and, well, the tears always come.

But then the song ends, you know, and then it’s Lily Allen singing “The Fear” in my ear and it just makes me bouncy again. That song s from a very different era of my life and hearing it takes me back.

35 years old and getting a divorce and as challenging as that was, my nostalgia about it is the color of freedom. I finally felt like I was in charge of my own life for the first time of my life. I was 35 and had never lived alone. Never picked out my own dishes or paint colors without someone else’s ok. Just listen to the song “I Could Say” by Lily and that’s the essence of my life back then.

I mean, I’ve tried to capture this in a poem, but it’s one of those elusive things. And frankly, since that was years ago, I’m not inclined to try anymore. I’ve got plenty of content from the present. I thought the other day that I could write a bunch of poems about that time in my life, but I ask myself “do you want to spend your precious time in the past, or do you wanna focus on now?”

The answer (right now) is now.

And right now, I’m just enjoying these tunes and the feels and whatever will be will be. Poetry or no poetry.

That’s all I’ve got time for on this taco Tuesday.

Peace and Love and Music, 🎶
~Miss SugarCookie