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

2019-11-07 Predictable Predicaments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life is often predictably unpredictable.

Cheers to That,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-10-15 A Serious Lack of Motivation

The week is rolling now and there’s no time to waste. I’ve got another big packet due on the 20th and I’ve been doing that classic SugarCookie thing and procrastinating the parts I don’t want to do. It’s this big craft essay thing. It’s mostly done but the final section and conclusion and a pretty bow to tie it all together. I’ve been putting all my energy into the creative portion and revisions, which is necessary too. Arguably more important. But that’s almost done and there’s no putting off the other any longer.

I’ve also got work things creeping in on my time. But at least I’m making some $$ for that. Everyday living expenses are one thing but when it comes to special road trips to KC or some new shiny laptop, it’s different. I need my own funds for that and every hour I work makes me feel better about that.

I’ve been struggling with new writing lately including this blog. Like my poetry, sometimes I think “so what”. I don’t have anything truly important or impactful to say and I’ve got lots of other stuff to focus on so why put the effort in. I think I need some convincing and and most of the time I’m pretty good at self-talk but lately I’ve been needy for external validation.

I’m now participating in several writing/workshop groups which is great. Sometimes I get so sick of reading and working on my own stuff and so switching gears to read other people’s stuff is a welcome treat. Still, that doesn’t fix my motivation issue. Especially when it comes to this blog.

I used to write everyday and now it’s like every 2 or 3 or sometimes 4 days. There’s a direct correlation to my time on the treadmill which used to be an hour every morning and that’s spotty now too. I just haven’t had the push to make myself do it. Everyday there’s just other stuff that needs doing. I use the word “need” loosely. Some things are and some are just an excuse.

Right now I feel like I’m coming down with a cold and my energy is zapped. I’m trying to reduce my caffeine intake and now instead of feeling dead by 11am, I’m dead by like 9am. That’s seriously serious! I could/should do a whole post about the caffeine and the sleep and the energy, but that a perfect example of a road that leads to the /shrug and question why?

I think I’m going to need to try changing things up and do something completely different. Not sure what that would be but I’m open for suggestions.

Perhaps I’m just having a down morning and need to wait a few days for it to change.

Time to cut and run. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Be kind to each other,

~Miss SugarCookie

2019-09-26 On the Move Again…

What’s this now? A bachelorette situation is about to go down in the town of Austin and I’m bout ready to get on a plane so I can be there with my Texas besties. More about that in a hot minute…

This week has been one crazy minute after another and I can barely keep up with what I am supposed to be doing hour by hour. Everything is off the rails – sleep, exercise, eating, qt with important people. The focus has been on school stuff, writing groups, assignments, a session with my mentor, and – a work project that is creeping on me like nobodies business. All the writing stuff is going great, and that is where the focus needs to be so I feel good (mostly) about the sacrifices I have made this week to keep all those balls in the air.

My biggest regret is not getting to spend hardly any QT with Jim this week, and now, I am about ready to get on a plane without him so that’s leaving me a little sad. At the same time, this weekend getaway is going to be amazing and I’m really looking forward to everything my bestie, Rebecca, has planned. She’s an amazing planner. I swear I should just hire her to plan my wedding and call it done.

Last night I participated in a new local writers workshop with a few of my MFA peeps and it was good. There were only 4 of us out of the potential 8 interested persons who went last night but it was still a great 2.5 hours of discussion. I don’t really know any of these people well enough to admit to my evening brain fuzz, and once we hit the 9PM hour, everything just started to blur together for me. I’m hoping that our meetings can be earlier in the evening in the future, but I don’t think that is the way it is going to go. We met at a coffee house and talked about next time meeting at a wine bar out west instead. Yay for out west, but the wine is a serious bad idea for me on a Wednesday night (not that I would have to drink anything I guess). But put a glass of wine in my hand after 8PM and the next stop for this SugarCookie is sleepy-ville. Just don’t expect me to contribute much to the discussion – ha!

The work thing might ramp up to more than I expect too because it sounds like the project is hot and ready to roll. I have to remind myself to be protective of my time and not agree to too much, even though it sounds super cool. I’m also secretly hoping my role is more behind the scenes and less PM, but I am getting the feeling that is not the case. I guess we’ll see what happens with that, but it also feels good to make a few bucks. I’m still adjusting to relying on someone else’s bank account and while I am sure that sounds great, it is still an adjustment none the less and every hour I work makes me feel like I can still do what needs to get done.

Anyway, I am getting ready to board a plane and have to wrap up. The rest of today is probably going to go fast and I’m going to try and relax on the plane and maybe read ahead on one of my school books.

Headed for Texas,

~Miss SugarCookie

PS… Photo credit to my love today. That snap was captured on his way to work this morning. An incredible sunrise!!

2019-09-23 Skiddle-de-Do

The assignment due today? Pour the worst time in your life into a poem and make it linguistically beautiful and tragic and don’t forget to turn all the abstraction to concrete image. It’s the toughest assignment I’ve ever had.

How do you turn all that black out drunk grief wailing near the top of the stairs because you don’t have enough left to take on one more step? How?

It started with writing 3-5 sentences of moments that had been burned into the brain, so deep, you can still conjure how your body felt. Then mold it to fit the tiny space of one piece of paper.

The last instruction.. end mid movement without a conclusion. Thank the universe, as I will never remember what happened after the black out. I mean, of course I remember parts of the next day, the next month, the next year, as I clawed my way, agonizingly, back to sanity. Most of it anyway.

Still, I find it a challenge to recall with clarity what visceral movements were involved with the end of 2016. It’s a distant memory tempered by time and the healing that comes with support from someone who wants to see you, know you, be with you.

And where does one start or stop anyway? Life is so complicated that it’s not ever one thing that’s involved with the downward spiral. How could I possibly explain that not only was I broken hearted, but also drowning at work, struggling as a parent, and hating the world for what it had become? And limit myself to one page? And make it all make sense? That’s the challenge. Reach the reader and pull them into the swirl.

Good Grief!

Anyway, I wrote some words and they are getting turned in today and then I’m turning my attention to packet 2 feedback which was received incredibly less than 36 hours after the packet was submitted last Friday. I have an in-person meeting with my mentor for this semester tomorrow and I have to be prepared. I need to show up to class, be on-point with my peers there and then continue to ride that wave through tomorrow.

This one calls for purple hair I think. I’m feeling all right right now despite the fact that today was day 1 of my cycle. Funny thing I didn’t have any noteworthy PMS this time. Perhaps my left ovary has been taken over by apathy and every other month I’ll get a break from the usual drama (a girl can dream).

I’ve only got a short bit before I’ve got to get ready to go. I need to jet. Yeah, that’s my Monday

Peace In and Peace Out,

~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

2019-09-10 Turn and Return To Center

It’s taco Tuesday again y’all. Let’s just be honest though, everyday is taco day. It’s just the way of things.. you know?

So here’s where my brain is at today, cuz that’s as good a place to start as any. Things have definitely leveled out since the major spin-out I had last week. This time last week I was circling certain doom. I forced myself to connect the dots with some important peeps and that helped tremendously. The weekend was very average and aside from a mini freak out Sunday/Monday about an assignment for class on Monday, all was well.

As a team, Jim, Z, and I made great forward progress on clearing out the room that is on the opposite side of the garage, intended to be a workshop/craft room but became a dumping ground for all things we didn’t know what to do with when we moved in. We sorted through stacked storage bins, furniture, and a whole bunch of random shit. It’s all out now and mostly moved to more appropriate places. There’s a little more prep work required, but we’re almost to painting. It’s a good thing for all us. More on that in the future. Perhaps a before and after post. I know Z took pics and she’s ga-ga for diy YouTube channels and Pinterest and all that stuff so we probably will end up with enough content for whatever we would want.

As far as today is concerned, there will be no tacos. I’ve literally got the whole day to work on house chores, writing, reading, and more work on that room if I get super motivated. The writing biz is blowing up now. I’m working on several projects for my Poetry Studio class which are very specific. For real. It’s all like.. here’s the subject and the form and also put a slant on it with this lenses/context in mind. I’m so used to free writing, fitting myself into a certain shape box is interesting. I’m still unsure how I feel about it, but I get the exercise. If I can do it, I’ll be a better writer for it.

I also need to make forward progress on the 3rd term craft paper which has me looking at other poets. Though I have permission from both my profs to cross the streams, it may not exactly work out that way because of timing.

Speaking of timing.. my time is up today and I need to jet.

Wash.. Rinse.. Repeat,

~Miss SugarCookie