Friday, February 25, 2011

Feeding yourself

I should be in bed, but I just have to write about my friend.

He and his mother used to have a really cool, down home, spirit satisfying, soul food restaurant.  Here in the US that means lots of honest Southern cuisine.  But, you know how those things go.  Even though they had plenty of business, the work became overwhelming for the two of them, especially his mother who was no longer a f\girl with youthful energies.

So, they finally closed the restaurant, but they never gave up on having the energy to try it again sometime.

So, anyway, my friend was at a local veteran's center.  They have a bar, meeting rooms where vets come to play cards, have bar snacks and shoot the shit, which is a good thing, by the way.

One day he happened to wander down a hallway and see a fully equipped kitchen, with an adjoining dining room, albeit a little on the small size, both the kitchen and dining room.

Since you cannot smoke indoors anymore, he continued on his way outside to have his way with a cigarette and got to talking with another smoker.  He mentioned the kitchen and asked if the other guy knew how or when it was last used.  Turns out the other vet was on some kind of board at the center.  My friend told me, but I have forgotten the details.  Anyway, they used to have Friday night fish fry dinners there, but it did not work out, mostly because the previous guy was kind of a flake and the food was not so great either.

My friend and I have been noodling around with ideas for a community center that he wants to open, and since that sort of thing is both in my background and an adjunct to the self-employment support and services I provide to my clients, between the two of us, well, we had made forward movement on his ideal plans.

But, when this opportunity presented itself to get back into a kitchen post-haste, he arranged for a meeting with whomever is in charge there (again, he told me, but I have forgotten...huge surprise) and developed a plan for resuming those Friday night dinners.  He shared all of his ideas, but, frankly, he was so informed about what is needed for having a restaurant, even a part time one, that I was of little extra help to him.  He says otherwise, but he is wrong.

That was a month ago.  Tonight was their first dinner.  Actually, it started late this morning with a lunch menu, but the full dinner menu started this evening.

To say that it was great is an understatement.  You could tell that it was the first time for all of those people to be working together, but there was barely a misstep.  There was the kitchen door that kept self-locking and the really old guy at the table next to me who managed to unscrew the top from the tartar sauce container and dump most of the contents on his lap and cap and then proceeded to pick up the container's top from the floor and screw it back on.  No worries, because I told the wait person and she took care of it.

There were two tiny issues with the serving temperature of my dinner, but we will discuss that later when we meet to recap my experience.  On the whole, it was outstanding food, efficient and friendly service, a pleasant environment and he really scored a huge win on his first day there.

Despite the fact that I, a very healthy eater, brought home half of my dinner, he assured me that he really is making sufficient money on the huge portions they are serving.  Just another proof of his dedication to fabulous food at a fair price.  I can hardly wait to surprise the kitties with pollack and catfish for din-din tomorrow when I get home from the quilt show.

I am looking forward to next week for the chance to try another item from the menu.  I may never cook another Friday night dinner for myself.  Yum.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I am practically atingle with happiness

Whilst I still have a load or two of laundry to do, no one has hassled me or given me grief or yelled at me about using the machines today.

If this is not pure, unadulterated bliss, well, I do not know what is.  Were I able to move with comfort, I would be happy-dancing all over the place, but really quiet, like a mouse.  Wee, tiny, little happy-dancing mice.  I would dance with them.  My peeps.

Ah, whatever happens for the other half of this day, I can survive it relatively unscathed because this early part is worth appreciating, seeking out and bringing on the dancing and very blissful little guys with the naked tails. 

To leap, to soar, without a care
Is a blessing of the rarest kind.
Through the air and in my soul,
One to be held in heart and mind

For times less peaceful,
Times less calm and quiet and gay,
When struggles are met
With the strength gathered today

It is life's dance, at least mine
To experience as best I am able.
And gather the soft remembrances
For future times unstable.

Dance, baby, whilst you can.


I was using Google Maps this morning to find the location and direction to a family thing being held in another state, on the weekend next.

Alongside of the directions, there was the full, continental US map image.  Except for the tolls and the likelihood of encountering road construction, it looks like a nice and easy trip.

I grabbed the little zoom bar and pulled it all the way down so that I could see the whole world.  I swear, that image never fails to thrill me right down to my core.  That teeny place marker, that infinitesimal point where I will be spending a couple of hours on the road, well, it just floors me.

A space on my screen that a gently expanded hand-width covers and I have touched the entire planet.  Rotate my hand approximately 20 degrees and I could hold it in my palm.  It makes me think of how delicate, how fragile and wondrous it is, this place we call home.

Sure, it enthuses me to take care of it.  More than that, it helps me revisit my commitment to making my part of it, that tiny bit at the point of the marker, a better place.  Small things salve my emotions, fuel my desires and make make my behaviors worth performing them.  My tininess reminds me of my connection to every other person, every other living thing.  I am humbled by the shared responsibilities and shames me for my pitiful efforts.

On that map, I am an invisible speck beneath uncounted specks. 

Oh, and I might have lost a friend today.  If it happens, it will make me sad beyond my ability to express how truly sad I will be.  Sometimes friends have to take that risk with each other.  But, I will still be sad.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Better here than there

Mostly because I am trying so hard to be the lighter version of myself.

So, anyway, this is how I feel.

I am a simpleton of the highest...or is it lowest, I cannot ever remember...order, and I have to wonder why anyone really and truly and deep in their own frugal, thrifty, earth-honoring, dedicated to making the planet a better place, higher selves, cares much about this issue.  I get the angst and the sense of feeling proprietary about something that holds great energy for you. I understand the feelings of sorrow and loss when someone wants to take something that you hold dear away from you. 

Sure, there will always be someone who will come along and manifest their puffed-up selves, having lost all perspective about what is important and how good people manifest in the world,  and try to take more than their share, heck even try to take the shares of other people. 

I am a child of the 60s.  I cut my social, political and public teeth on the conflicts of those times.  I lost my innocence there.  Until that war, I believed in so many things, patriotic and practical.  It fucking broke my heart.  It taught me that I have a voice, certainly, but, more importantly, that I have the will and means within me to release the past and move forward in my life  smarter, wiser (yes, they are different), more informed and more determined.

Protest if you are moved to do so.  Standing up for what you believe makes you and your world a better place, but always remember that no one, no entity, no government or legal battle or maneuverings can take your beliefs, your practices, philosophy or standards away from you.  They cannot even, no matter how how they try, take your words.

They are just words and every single one of us is more than that.  Fight this?  Some will, but no matter what happens, no one can take us from this life.  We get to go on and have lives that sustain ourselves, our families, the whole damn world, and all they get is a couple of words.

No big deal.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


So, anyway, it has been an interesting day here at work.  I am leaving in a few minutes and am not sure what I think about this job or myself, for that matter.

The day began with an unexpected and tricky legal issue.  It involves state government, so no problem with accepting that it was over my head and experience.  However, with a half-dozen telephone calls and meeting some truly kick-ass civil servants along the way, we ended up with personal legal attention for my client.  I love happy endings.

Two no-shows and two walk-ins, back in business, both with very challenging issues.  Cool.

Then, my final client of the day came in.  I was out and waiting for her and I knew, as soon as I saw her looking at me, seeing me, that she was hugely disappointed.  Here I am, the person that her human resources consulting firm mother said that she has to see and all she gets is me.  Old, fat, dumpy, felt valentine (the ones in Joybelle's link, yeah, they are still uber cool and groovy) in my hair (which refused to stay up and out of the way today), walking, barely, with my cane and then we go into one of the study rooms, not even an actual, official office.  Ummm, I know that was what she was expecting because she mentioned it.


We  did some work, and we made changes that pleased her, but her heart was not in it.  This sort of thing should not bother me.  I know that I do excellent work here.  I know that other community programs are being modeled on what I do and how I do it.  I receive lots of feedback from my clients and the director here. 

I think that what bothers me, and yes, I can intellectualize the crap out of this, is that she could not get past my appearance.  You know, I do not make children run, weeping in fear and my friends think that I am great.  I have lived long enough to get over myself and accept how I look, my body type, my features, my disabilities, everything. 

But, the way I am feeling right now, gosh.  I know that I am being superficial.  Stupid.  Vain.  I have known all of my life that I am not a beauty, not attractive.  So, I am always clean and shiny.  Well-groomed.  I try to have nice posture and walk with as much confidence as it is possible to do with a cane or two. 

Well, I will get over this.  Scarlet and I will have a better day tomorrow.  I cannot please everyone, particularly for those aspects of myself over which I have absolutely no control.  I guess there are some days when you just feel like your existence is a waste of planetary resources.  I think the worst part is actually caring what someone else thinks about how I look.  I think, hell, I do not know what I think.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Or, maybe writing would be slacker behavior.  You know, doing this instead of any of the thousands of useful things I should be doing around here. 

I had to get a refill on Charlie's medicine and stayed to chat at the vet clinic.  Of course.  They agreed to take more books, those sweet babies.  Plus, they can take the leftovers to the charity shop down the road who does not want take any more of my crap, even though my personal stuff is really high quality and lots of it is virtually unused.  Seems they like my crap, they just feel that they do not have any more room for any of it for a while. 

Now, they will not know that what the clinic babes bring over was originally mine and I am trying to not be conflicted about this, you know, like in it might be slightly dishonorable if the books were mine to begin with and only passed through the filter of what the clinic babes do not want.  It is not like I am stopping strangers on the street and asking them to pretend that my stuff is really their own, personal donation or anything like that.  Still, it seems a fine point and I suppose that I could collect what the clinic babes do not want and then take it into town to the other charity shop that will take anything.  No hesitation, just pull up in your car, open the doors and they will remove the boxes and send you on your way. 

At this point it does not make any difference, because I am still sick, only slightly, marginally better, but sick, still, and I just do not have the strength to haul anything anywhere.  I should feel good about continuing to rid myself of this stuff, but I thought that I would be finished divesting by this time.  Hell, it has been a year since the first trickles began seeping out of here.  It should be all gone by now.  There should be so much stuff gone that I would be experiencing fairly regular moments of regret that something useful is gone.

Then there is the whole issue of all of the projects that need completing, some of which could bring in some cash.  Yet, I slack.

Just the slacker in me. 
I probably should have named this blog properly.   
Slacker...and too unmotivated to really give a darn.