2019-10-09 I Went Shopping for Shoes and Came Home with a Laptop 👠->💻

I finally pulled the trigger on a few items I’ve been toiling over for quite some time. I spent several hours driving around town. And yes, of course I also did the dishes. Where does all the god damned time go?!

I drove to village point and I swore at the steering wheel “I’m not leaving this stupid shopping mall empty handed”. Who decided outdoor malls in Nebraska were a good idea? Idiots.

I can’t buy shoes online. “That way lies madness” (a favorite saying of one of my former co-workers). So I spent about an hour in DSW trying on shoes, for my wedding. It’s like the very next thing on my list and I can’t get the dress altered until I know how tall I’m going to be in the shoes. Spoiler alert. I didn’t find any.

What I did find was a brand and style I liked and the sales gal said they have other colors online. I wore those 6 and a half black heels up and down the aisles and all through the clearance section. They passed the test. Too bad nothing else in the store worked. I suppose if I was getting married for the first time I would have a white dress and the shoes would be a slam dunk. As it is, my dress is slightly off-white, not white, and not ivory so I’m not even sure what goes or how to match that.

Jim’s been buying dress shirts online and just sending them back when we open them to discover they clash. Like I said.. madness. After all that jazz at the DSW, I went to the Apple store. Still determined to NOT leave empty handed.

Yeah.. I dropped some cash there and felt a twinge of regret as I drove away with my new laptop. What else was I to do though? My current laptop is from 2012 or 13 (it was a refurb I bought from my previous employer in 2015) and it threatens death every time I need to use it. Which is pretty much all the time. It won’t run unless plugged into the charger and sometimes it acts like it won’t turn on at all. Yadda-yadda. But that’s already too much ado about that topic.

I did my research and almost went with the Dell XPS but my Apple fan girl heart just can’t buy a windows machine. No apologies on that one, but wow those apples are pricey. I looked into an Apple certified refurbished one but they are almost as much as brand new. I haven’t had a new machine in like 9 years and the hope is that this one will last a long time. Call it an investment I guess.

When I arrived home I did more research on shoes and bought the pair I wore in the store, only in a blush pink. I saw some others online which may also work, so I guess I’m going the way of madness anyway. /shrug

In any case I checked a couple boxes and felt like the whole day didn’t amount to much. I guess they can’t all be winners. Just like this blog post. 😉

Tomorrow’s Gonna be Great.

Just Wait!

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-27 Austin Day 0 – Arriving Home

This morning I woke up in one of my favorite places. My bedroom in the corner of the house of my Texas bestie. It really does feel great to be home. It’s not my home of course but you know what they say, about home and the heart. Such truth.

My friends’ home has been my home for 10+ years. They were preparing to get married as my marriage was falling apart in 2009. They have offered me sanctuary at every turn. The divorce, the rebuilding of my life as a single mom, the stops and starts in the dating world, the high of meeting Matt, and the heartbreak as that too fell apart. Then round two of dating again.. and what a horrible thing dating has become. Why does it feel like there’s nothing redeeming about it?! Except, of course, that impossible needle in a haystack of finding a special someone. And now, my friends are gathering to celebrate that! Life is good.

Last night Rebecca picked me up from the airport and we immediately went to dinner, just the two of us, to start getting caught up. I know she’s my people because we both came with this thought in our heads we need a list so we don’t miss talking about anything. Yup.

So that was great, and we we went to one of our places, District Kitchen, where I had my Bison burger and whatever new thing is on the cocktail menu. We got through a few topics there and then continued back at the house with a desert cocktail and winding down on the back patio. In bed by like 10pm, cuz that’s where we are at. This might be my weekend away to stay up late, etc. but she’s got routine and little ones and life has requirements.

This morning I’m doing the elliptical thing and gathering some thoughts. One thing I’m grateful for here is just a break in my own crazy routine and getting a few things done which are important but never bubble to top priority.

After this session, she has a whole day planned for us and it sounds amazing. Temps here are record highs (100s) and it reminds me when I was in Colorado in June and it was freezing and snowing. The routine of the Earth, too, is off it’s rails.

She warned me ahead of time “don’t bring jeans or you might die”. Ha! So it’s sun dresses and shorts and tank tops. I’m all for extending summer a little more. I’m never really ready for fall.

That it for this session. Time to go find the sun.

Cheers to Day 1,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-18 Words.. The Lost and Found Edition

When I was at residency I had a flood of words to work with. It’s always an interesting experiment in immersion and the impulse of spontaneous thought lingers for a while after I return home. This time around I was given an extra push and had some strong emotion to propel me forward and keep the words coming.

Now, miles away from that and approaching the halfway point in the term (yes already), the impulse is gone, the topic seems to have exhausted itself and though I know I have a few more in me, they just won’t come. It’s been blurred with all the assignments with the other class I’m taking which is moving way too fast for my taste.

Yesterday I did some reading and some critical writing, but it was all starts and stops and so slow going. I also tried to free write but got nada. One line. Ok, I got one damn line. (Btw I don’t think one line is a poem.. perhaps a title.)

I tried to build on that one line and it just never materialized. I mean, you have to have a message or what’s the point? What’s my message? What’s so urgent? Problem is, there’s not a lot that feels urgent right now. Urgent in the sense that I get sometimes when something in me wants out. The post on Monday was a giant shrug and that seems to be the theme for my week.

I guess I’ll just press on, with Mario at the wheel, reading and critical thinking and attempting these assignments. What else is a girl to do?

In other related news, we did an exercise in class where we were put in groups and told to behave like we were editors of a new literary publication. We had to choose our genre/theme and the title of our mag and then review poems anonymously submitted by our classmates. We had to choose the one that was a good fit for our genre, the one we would accept. It was an interesting exercise that consumed a lot of class time.

One of the groups came up with the name “Pumpkin Spice Confessions” which was advertised as “basic bitch” poetry appealing to the masses. They chose my poem. Ha!! I mean, an acceptance is still an acceptance no matter what the pub is right?! And believe me, I know my poetry is pretty basic.

I’ll never be like any of these great writers I’m reading. Just now I wrote “I don’t have a traumatic childhood”, then erased it because, well, yes I do. I would say I’ve never been in an abusive relationship, but I have. I might confess that I’m just a layer of motz cheese on top of a pizza with nothing underneath, but yo! I got spicy pepperoni and artichoke hearts and red onions and some savory tomato sauce. Yeah. That.

Or maybe I’m just hungry because I’m starving myself to fit into a heavy white dress. It’s not white though.. it’s ivory because you really only get one shot at white and that was wasted, because I was already wasted at 19.

I was already rehearsing lines of white pages, a script handed to me before I could read. I toddling tot with my baton in a purple sequin leotard, with matching skirt.

My mom pierced my ears before I could talk. It was a botched job by a family friend that left me with puss filled ears my entire childhood. And you know that line in the script, “if at first you don’t succeed”, when I was finally healed we tried again.

On my wedding day I wore pearl white earrings that belonged to my paternal great-grandmother. Something old.

I followed all the instructions in the brigade handbook, a recipe book with clear descriptions of ingredients and exact measurements. Recommended Process and procedure for best results.

36-24-36

I checked again this morning, my numbers haven’t changed.

***

Ok.. that went somewhere weird. But, that’s just Luigi stretching and flexing.

I really need to do Jazzercise today.. I haven’t gotten to it at all yet this week. And for clarification, it’s not needed for the aforementioned numbers, but is needed to get my heart pumping, and because dance, and also… the current theory is that the free-weights and activity are helping with my tennis elbow situation.

More on that soon I hope. Until then..

Peace and Love,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-14 Leaps and Bounds of Faith

I don’t have a religion. You might say I’m areligious the way an asexual has no need for sex or an aromantic has no need for romance. All three of those things are real words with definitions attached, I just checked.

But, just as an aromantic can still have and want and need love, I still have faith. Sometimes it wanes and changes the axis it rotates around, but it exists.

And that, my friends, is the most educative and creative way I can introduce the fact that in one week, I’ve Come face to face with this faith of mine, in not one or two, but three different ways. And like everything else in the universe, it’s all connected.

The first is an extension of yesterday’s post which was about making sense of nonsense. I have an assignment for my current poetry studio class which has three options with very specific requirements. I stared at the descriptions more times than I’d like to admit. Then, multiply the time I spent doing that and you have the number of minutes I spent thinking about them. Of course I wrote a little too, but it was a struggle and most of it had nothing to do with these assignments. It was just more free writing, you know, to get the machine running.

By Thursday I had a lot, but it wasn’t in the subject or form and didn’t have the requested lenses. I wound myself up about it (no surprise there), but deep down I knew it was there somewhere. I trusted that it would work itself out.

Then, on Friday morning I had a huge breakthrough. I pulled some notes from residency and used the details from a generative session about place/rivers/bodies of water and went with that. Once I started to put the pieces together, it all just floated into place. That was option 2. Then, miraculously I also found the connections for what I had written for options 1 and 3 as well. It was freaking amazing!

I spent almost all of Friday on all that and this morning did some final edits for turning them in. Of course these things are so new that my emotional attachment to them is strong, so it could still be garbage or nonsense to everyone else, but a little twinge in my gut says “naw, it’s good shit”.

That’s me having faith in myself and my abilities. It’s there. It hides sometimes and gets overshadowed in fears and doubts, but it’s there. It’s the part of me that won’t let me give up on these writing pursuits. That’s one of three. Are you still with me?

Number two came on Wednesday which also brought a storm of other events all happening at once. I was writing through the aforementioned assignments (there’s the connection), the meet and greet and reading for the students and faculty at UNO (for the folks in undergrad fine arts/writing programs) was at 4pm, it was the first meeting for a new local writing workshop group I’m participating in at 7pm, I had a meeting/conference call for work-Work at 3:30pm, walking campus at the same time to get my student ID, not to mention that it was also 9/11 which always has an impact on me.

Rewind to about 11am though, and what shows up on my freaking doorstep? A wedding dress. That’s right, I went wedding dress shopping a while back and that was an interesting experience, but I threw up in my mouth a little looking at the price tags of all those fabulous gowns. I ended up shopping online and found one that I really liked, with a price tag I could swallow. It’s atypical I know, and anticlimactic as hell, but whatever. At the end of the day, it’s just a dress.. right??

I opened it and put it on. It mostly fits, perhaps is a size to big, of course it’s too long and will have to be altered. I looked at myself in the mirror and it was like that moment.. it’s really happening. We have a date and a place and now we have a dress. Yowza!!!

Anyone who really knows me knows I have so many doubts about getting married again. At one point in my life I vowed to never do it again. Then I met Jim and in a whirlwind so much changed. But Gawd, I’m still unsure at times and terrified. This dress is proof that I do have faith that it’s right, that it’s going to be all right. I don’t think I would have pulled the trigger on ordering it if I didn’t have that faith. That’s proof number 2. Are you still with me, good Gawd there is still more.

Number three is so closely related to two, they are hard to separate but, selfishly, I want to write about it anyway. It’s not about the wedding but the marriage, and life after the big event that’s happening on 02022020.

Last Sunday I received an email from Z Publishing that the latest installment of their “Emerging Poets” series has been released, which includes 5 poems from yours truly. What’s that got to do with faith or my pending marriage? Well, to submit work and have it published you have to have a bio and, of course a name. I’ve written about this before. It’s a conundrum for me.

I’m a girl in transition. I don’t have a last name. I have a maiden name I haven’t used in 26 years. I haven’t been that girl for a very long time. I would still go with it to honor my grandfather but my relationship with my dad is so fractured, it wouldn’t feel right.

I just refuse to use my current, married name. That would be like looking back and staring when what I should be doing as looking at the future. That name led me to the place I am now, both the good and bad parts, but as I build my new life, I can’t use it. I don’t want to.

So that leaves me with what’s to come, my future name. My soon to be married name. I’ve written it, seen it on the copy for editing, and now.. it’s been released. Other people will see it. It’s out now even before it’s actually mine.

The book is available for sale on the Z website. My poems are in the 2019 Nebraska anthology, which includes work from 10 Nebraska based writers.

Z Publishing Featured Products and Collections

Submitting with a name that isn’t even mine yet was a huge leap of faith. Things could still go horribly wrong somehow. That doubt still lives in me too. I guess they are just buddies teaming up inside of me to wreak havoc.

I tell myself that if it all goes wrong, I can just say it was a thoughtful pen-name which I changed when I got real serious about all this writing business. Not that I’m not serious now, but I gotta have some exit strategy ready, you know?

That’s it. One two three, easy peasy (10 pages later).

It’s Saturday now and I’ve exhausted my hour on the treadmill and have to get down to some other business.

Ciao for now,
~Miss SugarCookie

2019-08-05 The One About Dresses

I’ve been awake since 6am and it’s 10 til 9 and I’m finally getting down to some serious thinking. Serious like cats milling about the living room deciding on the best place to nap. So, yeah, pretty serious.

The weekend went by like a bullet and I dodged a direct hit, for the most part. I had a lot of swell ups yesterday about this and that, but no time to stop and capture any of that with words. Any attempt today would probably be in vain, but what else have I got to work with? Just the same ole’ castle life musing so I might as well rewind the clock and replay Sunday in my mind.

The biggest swell came as I walked out of a dressing room wearing a wedding dress and stepped up on a low wooden pedestal and took my first look in the mirror. Seeing myself in that dress made the fact that I’m supposed to be getting married in 6 months really real. Naturally, I started to cry.

Those poor women at the little family owned store probably thought I was just so in love with the dress. They had no idea that it was actually a combination of angst, sadness, happiness, and sheer terror. How is that even possible?

My friend Sam was with me and she knows. She’s the one who suggested that we go. She’s been in my corner for years and a solid source of common sense and wonderful advice. We went to happy hour about 6 weeks ago and she asked how planning was going. My reply was something like “it still isn’t”. That was the truth.

Jim and I have been engaged since August of last year and all we had done was pick out a date. We didn’t even have a place to get married. I had done some work on “save the date” cards, because I was solid on that, but that’s it. At that time she urged that we needed to get started. She asked if we had talked about what we would be wearing. I had thought briefly about this too and left the thoughts alone in the back of my mind. I replied “not really”.

That’s when we set the date to go dress shopping and I made the commitment to have a place booked. Two weeks ago before we went to NYC, Z and I went and looked at a place. I told Jim it was just perfect for our needs and so we booked it. It was that easy. What else is there? Oh yeah, back to the dress.

I’ve never been wedding dress shopping before. The last time I got married it was 1993 and my future mother in law handed me a large black trash bag (literally) and inside was the dress she got married in. I took it home and tried it on. It fit. That was it.

That’s pretty much how all that wedding planning went. I was in the last semester of a two year associates degree program and taking like 16 credit hours and doing an internship at FDR. I didn’t have time to plan a wedding. My mother in law did, and it was really her thing and I just let all that happen. I didn’t care much about flowers and cake and decor and food. It would all just be forgotten anyway. That was my line of thinking.

Actually, my way of thinking about the topic hasn’t changed much. It’s not the wedding that’s important, it’s the marriage. The wedding is just a celebration of our love and lifelong commitment to each other, that commitment is where the gravity is. As such, it doesn’t really matter what we eat or if we have flowers or what we wear. Right?!!

Oh yeah, but back to the dress. I’m a dresses kind of girl. Short dresses, long dresses, fitted dresses and light flowing dresses. Black and white dresses and dresses with flowers, green dresses and cream colored ones too. I love to wear dresses and have always liked beautiful flowing skirts. Ones that waft up when you twirl around are the best. I also like ball gowns and princess dresses. I really enjoyed when my daughter went through the “Disney Princess” phase, and wanted to play dress up every day.

I thought I would just wear a simple party dress, but seeing all those beautiful wedding dresses kinda made me want one. Maybe I do want a special dress and have just not been able to admit it to myself. Then I saw my reflection in the mirror.

Maybe, just maybe, it WAS the dress I was crying about after all.

I proceeded to try on about 3 or 4 others that they had at that shop. What I found was the the more uncomfortable the dress was, the better it looked on me. Go figure.

We didn’t have an appointment. We didn’t even know you needed an appointment to try on wedding dresses. That shop let us try on because they didn’t have any other clients coming in that day. The second place we went didn’t have any open appointments so all we could do was look. I guess the wedding dress business is really serous. I also think that contributes to the fact that these dresses cost hundreds (even over a thousand) dollars. How can anyone justify spending a down payment for a car on a dress they are only going to wear once? Seriously.

Maybe that’s what I was really crying about. The cost of the dresses!! What a rip off!! It does make me quite torn.

Talking with Jim about it last night I said it was good for me to go see in-person what I might want and how it would look. I may do a little searching online for similar styles or something more reasonable. He joked and said he’s wearing shorts and a polo shirt so not to get too fancy. Point taken.

Of course it is not the first wedding for either of us so that’s a case for not doing all the traditional things. We could do something silly and fun instead. Whatever it is, we just need to start figuring it out.

But who has time for that anyway? I sure don’t.

There’s a lot of work that needs to get done here at the castle and what I really want is to find a nice spot to take a nap.

Everything else can wait. Including wedding planning. It is just Monday after all.

Exes and Ohhh’s, Yeses and No’s,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-08-02 Things that Can Happen When You Blink

And just like that, the majority of the summer is gone. I blinked and it came and went. It’s four days until school registration and 12 days from the start of it. It just doesn’t feel like we’ve had enough time. Sure, we’ve done some incredible things, but having some lazy, relaxing summer days just doesn’t seem like one of them. It’s always hurry up now, and onto the next thing.

Today is actually the first day in over three weeks that I’ve been able to wake up and enjoy my regular morning routine — chores, treadmill, writing, chilling with the cats. And what is it about never having time to pick up a book to read? I honestly thought when I quit my job, the reading would happen naturally. But my new gig is pretty demanding.

Yesterday I had all day, but ended up spending hours in the garden doing some much needed weeding and tending to my tomato’s that have become overgrown and were falling over. There went my afternoon. But it takes as long as it takes, you know.

I did get to ordering my books for the semester when I arrived back from our NYC adventure. They are now arriving on my doorstep daily and I’m craving to dive in, but I also have my first deadline this Sunday and so that’s a priority. It’s what I should be focusing on now instead of musing about my life. Still, getting back into my normal groove is important. I need to get this hour of walking in. I need to find my center of gravity. I need the music in my ears pointing me in some right direction.

Today I’m listening to Arcade Fire which was introduced to me by a new acquaintance from Res. Interesting guy.. and like so many people and experiences from Res, not enough time in life to explain them all. In any case, the color of this music has been shaping my thoughts for a couple of days.

It’s Friday today and that means the weekend is so near. This one is already shaping up to be a busy one which means that the summer slowdown I’ve been craving is nothing but a sweet daydream. The Summer office party for Jim’s work is on Saturday and then Sunday I have a date with my friend Sam to have lunch and go dress shopping. I’m trying not to think about that too much, or it will consume me.

Today is exactly 6 months from our wedding date.. which, as I am well aware, will also fly by in a blink. I’m far from prepared and feeling very different about the whole thing depending on the day of the week. On Tuesday I’m excited and by Saturday I’m downright terrified. This weekend will be a good time for me to talk with Jim about it, and I need to not chicken out (again).

Well, there you have it folks.. August 2nd, 2019 in a nutshell. Time to get moving and actually be productive doing something.

Cheers,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-07-21 MFA Res Days 8 and 9 – Tough Choices

The last two days I’ve felt less anxiety and less pressure, mostly, yet still inspired by so many shiny objects. On the downhill slide, the back of the back 9, the preparing for a return to reality from the dream, I find that the most difficult task is the necessity to chose between things, people, places, moments, activities, and food. A sense or acknowledgement that I cannot, infact, have it all as it is an impossibility and am faced with decision making. Not my strong suit.

Do I hang with people I just met, or my closest allies here who have grown more dear to me by the hour, or perhaps the faculty who I would get more wisdom from. It is not lost on me that everyone is on their own back 9 and also having to choose.

I had to choose between watching the sunset and talking with one of my previous mentors. We both kept crossing paths all week and promising each other we would take some time and catch up, but the time never materialized. We have similar dispositions and both worry about doing everything that needs doing and focusing on the next thing at hand. We were both prioritizing (though some of mine was dictated by basic needs sort of stuff). I chose the conversation, the sunset behind me. It was one of the easier choices and well worth it.

Later I had to choose between staying at the lodge and leaving for a walk with a few folks. Should I stay at the physical place that embodies the spirit of the program with its diversity of great people and potential conversations and possibilities for fun and games and amusement? Or do I leave the place and choose to reward myself with physical activity and the opportunity to have a more intimate conversation with a select few? More of a difficult choice, but I went with my gut. What I needed.

Some walking and digestion. Less sensory input, not more (except for that one bar we stopped in along the way where it was all just much too much). Less drinking not more. Less chaos of conversation not more. I made my choice and In return I was again rewarded by the universe by having a wonderful walk and conversation with two really incredible people. One a mentor and the other, a woman I met in the program who is now more than just a fellow writer, peer, safe space at the dining table, she’s a friend. Not the ‘see you later, let’s do lunch’ type of friend, but a genuine human I want in my life for a long time.

The walk deserves a whole blog post of its own, perhaps a collection of poems. Isnt that something!?! But my time for this one is getting short now and I’ll have to wrap soon. You know what they say about time.

This morning I woke naturally after the most amount of sleep I’ve had in 9 nights. I opened my eyes and shortly thereafter heard the low rumble of thunder. I got up and opened my window which revealed the pouring rain. I thought to myself “how god damned appropriate is that?”. “IT” was still happening, the serendipitous-ness of the program and the place and its people, even as everyone was well on their way back to their own realities.

The release, the transition, the dramatic change being echoed by nature. Or felt by it, or being mourned by it. It took me two trips to get all my stuff loaded into the car. I closed the trunk of my car and looked up at the sky, the rain on my face felt wonderful.

With peace and so much love,

~Miss SugarCookie