2019-11-22 A Love Letter for Today

A Love Letter for Today

 

My words are a love letter.
To love is a verb which doesn’t always mean
the same thing as it did the day before.
The bible says that it is patient and kind but i find
more often than not, it can also be lonely and wanting
and hopeful and full and sometimes stomping it’s foot
in defiance, not wanting whatever meaning is given that day.
What do the men that wrote the bible know
about anything really? How can you trust an ancient mirage
someone might have seen or heard
and language so new in the mouth
not everything had been named yet?
We can only know of love what we experience
in brief existence. And we can only know our thresholds
according to what came the day before.
And we can only learn the capacity of our cup
if we dare to let it run over once or twice
and can never know when or why it’s bigger
or smaller than the day before.
My words are a love letter to all who might listen
for a moment, in the morning to the birds
or gaze out a window, steam rising from a warm cup in their hand.
Those who allow themselves to be mesmerized by the dryer vent
pushing heat into the cold
or their breath as they wander out to get the mail in December
and also those who hold the importance of a moment up, in wonder.
Or a lifetime. Or a life.
Or each other. For all things fragile are a wonder.
I thought once that pain made me feel alive
and believed that what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.
Now I believe only that what doesn’t kill me, leaves me alive
to try again tomorrow.
My words are a love letter to myself. To my future self
who will never read them, just as so many others who love me
and will never read them.
This love letter is just words.
Some of which don’t know the meaning of themselves yet
Or might mean something different
tomorrow.

2019-11-21 Turn Left at Uncertainty

Let me start by saying this has not been a happy day and this will not be a happy post, if you have (like I have) had enough of just feeling shitty today, then best just skip this one. My feelings will not be hurt, because my feelings are already hurt. I’m sure the sun will come back out again tomorrow or whatever.

In about 73 days I’ll be celebrating getting married with a few of my closest friends and relatives and also my new family. I’m sure it will be a happy time, but with some unfolding events in this past week I can’t help but be reminded of where I was at in 1993, preparing for my first rodeo, as it were.

But hold up – this isn’t about then, this is about now. It’s about friendship and holding on and letting go. It’s about giving the benefit of doubt and trying hard to stay connected in a world where the over-connected nature of things make all interactions feel a little shallow. How well do we really know people and even when we know them do we really know them?

The detail behind these questions comes from a place of such doubt. I’ve got a friend who I have known for about 15 years and she’s recently disappeared from contact. We don’t see each other often, but I consider her one of my people. We go to lunch about once every couple of months – that’s our thing. I should call her, but I am afraid that her non-responsiveness over text is supposed to be a sign that she no longer wants to have anything to do with me. This makes me very sad and I am scared to call her because I don’t know what will happen. I hate feeling rejected. I’m sure (or hoping) it has nothing to do with me but what then?

The second instance is my other friend who I have known for 9 or 10 years. We have recently been trying to make plans to get together and it just never seems to work out. Too busy I suppose and I’m half of the problem but now she’s not responding to text either. Again, I feel like I should call but can’t seem to dial the phone. Maybe I hate the phone. Maybe I’m scared of more rejection.

The third whammy came last night when a very dear friend of mine, who previously agreed to marry me (as in officiate my wedding), let me know it was too overwhelming and she was going to have to back out. I was disappointed as an immediate reaction and let her know right away it was totally fine and that I understood and that I still love her. I mean, it is a big deal and all and I don’t want anyone feeling too much pressure. But still, after having about 24 hours now to think on it (and also start googling for other options), I realize I’m just sad about it. I really don’t want to have some stranger marrying us. I knew it would feel more special if those I love were involved. As it is, we don’t have a bridal party so I’m feeling kind of alone on this bridal island.

It’s just been a rotten few days since the invites went out and I’m wondering now about anyone showing up. Perhaps I will get no RSVPs or people will just politely decline.

25 years ago when I got married, I sent invites to a bunch of my classmates I had been going to school with for 2 years who I thought I had formed lasting relationships with and not a single one of those people showed up to my wedding. After the excitement of the day settled into the rear-view, that really bothered me. I guess it still kind of does actually as I am still thinking about it now. Of course, about a week after I got married, I drove off to Vegas to live with my husband just outside of Nellis Air Force Base and never saw any of those people again. Like “poof” two years of bonding over assignments and late nights in the computer lab and ping-pong in the cafeteria, and hitting bars around town to play pool and darts and not drink because I was only 19. All gone.

I’m going to see a famous slam poet tonight, Buddy Wakefield, and Jim can’t go so I had to hunt around for another date. Thankfully my sister is able to go and that made me feel a little better. I’m just not sure what to do about these other friends. I dunno. Wait until tomorrow I guess and maybe then the sun will come out. Probably.

Flame Off,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-11-19 Signed, Sealed, and (being) Delivered

Today’s post is brought to you by the least bridezilla bride to be of all time. Yours truly, Miss SugarCookie. I literally have to be the most easy going bride to be of all time. Either that or I have not hit that wall yet where I’m freaking out about every detail getting sorted.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had plenty of freak out moments, days, even weeks. But all of that has everything to do with actually getting married and not a drop to do with the wedding planning. Every time something needs to be done or decided, the angst is always coming from a place of doubt. But when it really comes down to it, those little things haven’t really been a big deal.

From “save the date” cards to ordering and sending back like 6 pairs of shoes to finding the right dress (also online), it was just a matter of going through the motions. We picked a venue easily enough, decided on the right person to officiate, and as of today, finalized the invitations.

That’s right, the invites have officially been “assembled”, stamped, and dropped at the post office. This time tomorrow people around town will start to get them and the days to follow will have those arriving at friends and family who live farther away. Dropping those in at the post office took more than one very deep breath.

In truth, putting the invites, return envelopes, rsvp cards, welcome reception cards, and a little note declining gifts all together in the addressed envelope took way longer than expected. After putting stamps on everything I was kind of glad to get that mess off my kitchen counter. Now all I have to do is wait for those RSVPs to come back.

What else? We still have to decide on food and desserts. I don’t have a photographer yet. And I still have to put more thought into decorations. A seating chart for the reception if we are going to have one and an agenda for the day. We are also still working on collecting pictures for the video we are going to play at the reception. I’m sure there’s other stuff I don’t know I’m supposed to do. I’m also sure it doesn’t matter much. Unless it’s something like forgetting to apply for a marriage license. Ha!

There are 75 days left until February 2nd but between now and then it’s a fast moving calendar with lots going on. Next week is thanksgiving, then the next big thing is the office holiday party which we are hosting here at the house again this year. Then it’s all the stuff leading up to Christmas including finishing out this semester, both for the kids and I. Quick on the heels of Christmas is Winter Residency for my MFA and when that’s done and in the books, there will only be like 3 weeks to go before the big day. That’s a lot going on and a lot to distract me from thinking about those pesky vows.

(I love it when I type the word vows and Evernote auto-corrects it to “cows”. Yes, those pesky cows are quite troublesome! 😂)

That’s it for now folks. 75 days and counting. I foresee lots of deep breaths in my future.

Cheers,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-11-17 Pick a Card – Any Card ♦️ ♥️ ♠️ ♣️

It is Sunday but I probably won’t have sushi. Just hasn’t been in the cards for me lately. It does sound amazing right now, prolly cuz I’m hungry and also cuz 🍣 Sushi is the bomb 💣.

By now you can probably tell I’m not in a writing mood. I’m not really in any sort of mood except for a hungry one. And perhaps cold cuz we just came in from hanging more Christmas 🎄 lights on the house 🏠. I mean 🏰 castle.

We’re not quite done but when you’re hands start to go numb that means it’s time to stop. It’s supposed to be above average temps a few days this week.. possibly 60 degrees on Tuesday and that sounds good to me. Hopefully We can finish the lights that evening before it gets dark. It gets dark so early now.

What else?…

***

Yesterday was a hell of a day. A real doozie. It started with me waking at 5am. What the hell. Saturday and I can’t even sleep. There’s got to be something wrong with me. I digress.

5:30am and I decide to finish the poetry book that is due to be read by class on Monday. Little did I know the second half of this book is all about this guys divorce, or more specifically the downward spiral of a relationship and a life. Which by itself, I suppose I could handle. But with the pms and.. AND.. the fact that Jim and I have been going through stacks of pictures to put together a slide show for our wedding. Seeing all those pics of my “happy” life, you know years before my marriage went into the toilet, was just emotional.

But wait.. there’s more. At about 8am I decide to visit the birds and feed the fish and found our newest finch upside down and stiff in his water dish. There’s a whole story behind our acquisition of Ringo, needless to say, I’ve been really at an emotional breaking point all week.

So that was the start of my Saturday and the weekend. It has been, thankfully, up-hill since then. I mean, I got through all the picture sorting and will not ever have to do that kind of a sort through again. We have another new bird now, because Zebra Finches are social birds and should always be kept in at least pairs.

I dunno… I don’t really want to write any more and didn’t even intend to start all that but perhaps it is therapeutic to get it out. Or at least start to process. What I think is that I have a whole lot more processing to do and I haven’t completely processed through everything that happened last week.

In any case, it’s time to go check the status of kids and homework. Hopefully I don’t have to crack any whips. I’m really, really not in the mood for that.

☯️,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-11-13 Wild Wednesday Rant

Yesterday I sort of gave myself a day to finally unwind from the weekend and from the rush of Monday when there were so many things due. I say sort of, because at every turn there seemed to be some reminder of how far behind I am. Wedding planning, getting my son caught up on missing assignments, etc. not to mention all that “just in time” stuff like daily chores and meeting my mom for lunch and then helping her troubleshoot her printer for an hour which, would have probably taken 10 minutes if I was physically at her house. But over the phone, with her telling me only parts of what she’s seeing and doing pushing buttons, it was a challenge. But I don’t want to talk about any of that. I really don’t.

No. That’s not true.

I guess if there’s one thing I sort of mentioned already that I kind of want to elaborate on, it’s my son’s slip back into familiar bad behavior with school that opens a whole set of emotions for me. And this crosses over with my internal aggression toward some punk kid in my undergrad class who is a nice kid really but he’s just a kid and ignorant about finding the right words to express his opinion. It’s a free country, yes. You can say what you want but you should also realize your words and have consequences which include people wanting to pin you down and pummel the stupid out of you like that kid Ralph in the movie A Christmas Story.

It’s tangential, really. This classmate of mine is young and is of the opinion that video games are great and you can learn a lot from them and some have really great stories. While that might be true, all I know is that games and the internet and all the electronic distractions our kids have at their fingertips is not making my job as a parent any easier. My son is addicted to them. It’s a huge factor in his issues with motivation and school.

Addiction means that he just craves it, can’t seem to help himself, lies about it. Sneaks around the house like a thief in the night and hijacks other people’s power cords when his have been taken away. Meanwhile the gradebook doesn’t look so good and he’s back up to like 12 missing assignments. Half of which are math, a subject he’s good at. When questioned about it he shuts down. I’ve literally sat in his room with him the last two nights and did my homework so I could monitor him doing his. Half the time he just sits there, head on the desk.

He argues that there’s no point to homework which I combat by saying it’s one way people learn and necessary because it’s a requirement. It’s part of the grade and has to be done. That’s not enough for him to do it. And it’s a far cry from making him want to. He just shrugs. Did I mention I’m exhausted and at my wits end?

Back to this kid in my class. He went on a total rant about video games, after which the professor offered up the question about the video games being designed to make you want to sit and play for hours. This punk just says, maybe the corporations make the game designers do that. Well, duh! So what, these designers have a gun to their head writing code that makes my son spent 4 hours solving a level or quest? No… I’m sure they are totally into it and probably, by the way, also serious gamers themselves. With an exception.

They probably have self control on their side and have learned to balance work and play. Probably.

This kid also started apple bashing and his arguments were so shallow and mis-informed I almost could not hold back. But I did. I just sat in my chair and tried to singe the end of his hair with my fiery glare. The most I said was “I think the key to this and a lot of other things, is moderation”. And at that point, we moved back to more relevant topics for the class.

(All that got started by discussing an essay by Eric Campbell in which one of the things he talks about is the Instagram poets/poems.)

Later in the same class I notice another student with his Apple laptop open. And I was somewhat soothed knowing that this kid probably didn’t just piss me off and that his comments were not really directed at me. He likely pissed other people off too. I digress, again. I have to let it go.

But wait.. one more thing on that… if he was trying to come at me directly trying to address something I said about video games, it may have been because I said the whole ending of his poem should be rewritten because the chronology didn’t hold with the rest of the narrative. Some people have not learned how to take constructive criticism. Ok. Now I’m done. Maybe.

I’m still faced with the fact that it’s Wednesday and though my son has finished all the math homework, he’s got the other subjects to attend to. It makes for a long week, for both of us.

Time now for Jazzercise, and then to the tile store, and the grocery, and the tailor, and that’s all before lunchtime. 🤷‍♀️

Peace out,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-11-11 Sort, Organize, File.. Repeat

First things first, tipping my hat today as a loyal numbers nerd. It’s eleven eleven. That’s got to mean today is going to be a great day, doesn’t it?… Yes!!

There were a lot of things that happened on Saturday. As I said yesterday, it was too much and too overwhelming to write about. Like a big plate of broccoli.. if there’s one serving on your plate, you have no trouble digging in to consume that deliciousness. But a whole plate overflowing with green florets and stems might just make you turn your nose up, put your hand up, and just say “nope.”

Yeah.. it’s was just like that. Yesterday I began to compartmentalize so I could consume all of Saturday. Some things get lost in processing, forgotten as I sift through fading memories. But I do believe I successfully sectioned things into a set of perfect portions. Each of these could be a blog post, I suppose, if I do continue to have the urge to write about it at all. But no promises.

As life continues to happen, whatever is happening today could easily become more important. Still I think that the list will be helpful for posterity….

1. Notes on the 7 presentations I went to at Barcamp.

2. Notes on my own presentation and what I did to cope with my anxiety.

3. Interactions with other Barcamp attendees which included two people I previously dated. Doh!!

4. What happened after it was all over, lunch and walking the Old Market with my daughter, which should include both eating delicious cheeseburgers and a visit to Hollywood Candy.

5. Notes about getting home just before dark and doing yard work. Which seems minimal compared to the rest of the day, but it’s not.

6. Deciding to reward myself with binge-watching a tv show (Stranger Things season 3), which I gave a third shot to after a terrible first and second episode. I wasn’t disappointed.

7. Not being able to sleep despite the 20 hour day! Good Gravy— what is wrong with me?!!

8. A wrap-up on my time alone in the castle.

I think that’s it. Like I said, life keeps happening and things that need to get done for school and the kids and Jim more of a priority.

That includes finishing the poetry assignment due today for Advanced Poetry Studio and several forms and workshop materials that have to get submitted for winter Residency for my MFA today.

The kids are out of school because it’s veteran’s day. And it’s snowed. Not that THAT is news or has anything to do with anything except ewwww snow! Ick!!

Jim is back home and took the day off too just to get a bunch of stuff done before going back to work tomorrow. Needless to say, my attentions are already being tested.

On that note, I’m gonna Jam before the day really starts getting away from me.

Taking One damn bite at a time,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-11-10 Not the Conclusion I Had in Mind

Friday I wrote about my latest assignment— to do something uncharacteristic and uncomfortable and then write about the experience. Well, folks, yesterday I definitely did that. The day was an extremely long one which started at about 6am.

I planned to give a “talk” at barcamp omaha and doing any sort of public speaking is way outside of my comfort zone. The short story is that I did it and didn’t die. The longer story? Well that’s the assignment isn’t it.

I’m supposed to record as many details as I can.. sensory input, bodily reaction, conversations, interactions. The hard part about that, which I realize now that it’s all over, is that I’m supposed to take all that and write a poem. But something in me is not feeling that. I’m not sure why. I kind of don’t even want to write about it at all. Weird.

I mean.. I did the thing. Like I said, I woke up early (half an hour before my alarm was supposed to go off). I was already a ball of nerves and anxiety by like 7. I did some morning chores and gathered everything I needed for the day. Soon after that I headed out the door for downtown.

Perhaps it just feels overwhelming still, because there is too much to put into words. I did the thing and then it was over and that’s when all the best parts of my day started to happen. Maybe that’s why I don’t feel like writing about it, because there are so many other things I’d rather write about.

It’s not the conclusion I thought I would be writing today, but fuck it. I just want to write what I want.

On Friday I had talked to my daughter about my plan and she expressed interest in coming to watch. I gave her all the details and even promised that I would try and schedule my session in the middle of the day to give her time to wake up and get moving. The talks are every half hour starting at 9 but I had to be there at 8 to get the time slot I wanted. She was coming from her dads house and I wasn’t sure she would actually get up and drive downtown. She did.

My talk was at 1pm, right after the lunch that I didn’t participate in or eat because I felt sick and too nervous. She showed up, on her own sweet time, at 12:45 and I actually had to go outside the building to direct her on where to park. She had never driven or parked downtown before so that was a new experience for her.

It was actually sort of nice to have that last minute distraction to take my mind off of what was about to go down. We came in the building and made a straight line for the room my talk was in.. where I had reserved a seat for her in the front row right in front of me. She has anxiety too and for me, being in the front row and not seeing people behind me helps me focus.

The talk was about 20 minutes which I mostly read off of my laptop. I realized the day before when I started to put together in my mind what I wanted to say, that it would be easier to just write it all out. Then after if was all written out, I decided I should just bring that, read some of it and then improvise when more details were needed. So that was that.

During my “reading”, when I got to the most emotional component, I started to lose it up there in front of all those people.. and there was my darling daughter right in front of me, a huge part of what I was speaking about. I looked at her and steeled my nerve and pressed on.

I powered through the rest and as predicted, had about 5 minutes left for Q and A. I actually gave the audience a choice.. they could either ask me anything they wanted, no subject being off the table -or- I could read them a few of my poems. The resounding answer was poetry and I could not have been more pleased and relieved.

I read three poems I’ve had published and called it good and done. After I had several people come up to me and introduce themselves saying that some part of my story resonated with them. That made me feel good. One gal just thanked me for sharing saying that the more people share their struggles, the more we know we’re not alone. It’s so true!

Z and I stuck around in that room for the next two talks and then decided to split. It was 2:30 in the afternoon and neither of us had eaten yet. We went to the tap room for cheeseburgers and fries and had a great chat. We talked a little about my “talk” and she admitted to getting emotional too, when I did.

She said, “mom, I was there too”. And as a parent you know that when you struggle your kids are affected, but you hope it’s not going to screw them up too much. Still, it meant the world to me that she came to support me, and that she sees that life is hard sometimes, sometimes heartbreaking, and that you just do the best you can. And.. that whatever it is, it is most likely temporary. Even the pain from losing a loved one, though it never goes away and is always a part of you, does get softer with time.

It’s a good message and I felt like the talks (not just my own but others too) along with the conversations afterword were a good experience for her. It was a proud parenting moment and that means more to me than any stupid anxiety or public speaking fear.

Instead of just giving her advice and telling her how to try overcome her anxiety and fears, I showed her. I modeled good behavior, I’m sort of just now realizing that! Go me!!

After the Tap room we visited an establishment in the Old market she had never been to, Hollywood Candy. The place is part candy store, part museum, part antique shop… and 100% what happens when a hoarder has a lot of money. $1.75 for a Twix bar.. no way man. That’s insane!

Ask me sometime about the dirty little secret I know about Hollywood candy. It’s a good one!

There’s more that happened yesterday.. so much more and I didn’t go to bed until 2am. But I’m going to stop there. I guess I wrote more about my talk than I intended so that’s good. I’m still not sure it’s the right stuff for a poem. I’m not sure what I will turn in tomorrow. 🤷‍♀️

I’ve got stuff to do today and am picking Jim up at the airport in a couple of hours so I gotta scoot.

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie