Monday, September 28, 2009


Sometimes, it's so easy to forget to be empathic. People piss us off, and we want to reach out and hurt them back. And it can be so easy-- a word, an action, and that person can be nailed and part of you, the tiniest, meanest part, is happy about that. And sometimes the people we love the most are the ones who it's the hardest to cut some slack.

I was thinking of this last night as I was trying to fall asleep, remembering my Empathy How To manual last spring that helped get me through a rough patch in my life. And how much that "found moment" of information and pretty pictures made me focus on practicing niceness, kindness to everyone-- including myself. That's why, I guess, in yoga it's called a practice, because you never really get it right.

So today's empathy quote: Scott Adams: "Remember, there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Remodeling and other Silly Updates

I went to Lowe's today where I think I have a "rep." Actually, I was impressed the chick at the commercial desk did seem to recognize me as I bought my seven gallons of paint (four in "Mark Twain Oak," one in "Sand Swept" (kinda yella) and one on "Utterly Blue." And two rooms of ceramic tile, and a new cool retro diner-y looking light fixture for the kitchen, and some paint (yeah!) for the countertop. They make countertop paint now! I hope it works. It'll be cool like dat if it does. And copper paint for the over the stove cool old fashioned vent thingy. We also plan to paint the outside of this currently a blah primer white with ugly green shutters and I picked out a pretty blue for that. It's gonna be purty. We aren't, on this one, pulling up the carpet like we usually do because the people who might rent like carpet (I hate hate hate it. But I'm not living there.)

Anyway, the point isn't so much to talk about all the painting but my Fangtasia T-shirt, which I am wearing. It's got an address, right here in Shreveport, which, if you follow the True Blood series or Charlaine Harris books, you know is where the vamp bar is. On Industrial Loop. I got a TON of attention for this shirt at Lowe's today. I've worn it before and only had one person notice, but apparently the show is better known now and people were all excited. One guy said he was gonna go "check it out" (the place where the shirt says Fangtasia is.). I told him to be careful; there's vampires there.

Now for lunch and prep for a friend to maybe come into town later today. Which equals: cleaning the guest bedroom. Not a hard job, just gotta do it.

Silly updates. What's for lunch? Will someone bring me some Monjini's?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I'm doing the "housewife" thing today and cleaning my messy, messy place (amazing how much two determined four year olds can trash a place). That also means folding the 3/4 ton of laundry I have piled up. (I hate hate hate laundry. If I could afford to pay for a maid to do my laundry I would be in sheer heaven. One can dream.)

While I'm doing that dreaded chore, I'm watching TV. Flicking around, I found the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood on HBO. I read the book a long time ago; it was my Christmas present for everyone that year. I've read the sequels, but that first one is really the best. I saw the movie when it first came out with one of my oldest friends on a rainy day in Birmingham.

Things have changed so much since then. When I saw it the first time, I cried for the little kids that were being beaten in one scene but then, I cried as the child. As a child who identified with the children. Today, watching it, I cried as the mother who saw her children being beaten. It's a different place, and it sucks almost as much as the one getting hit. I am grateful that I have a husband who is supportive and there-- because one of the major problems in the Ya Ya world is that there husbands were NEVER around (it was a different era, yes, but I never ever did not notice that aspect). I also have never been that sad/depressed or on the edge. Not even close. But I am very aware of how much the day of folding laundry WITHOUT kids around means, how much it costs, and how much it is a saving grace to a tired mother's sanity. Just to have a chance to watch twenty minutes of a movie I've seen before, have memories of other times and other places with close friends, and cry a little girly cry.

And to think about the way life changes, and things we never saw coming will happen, and yet, as in the movie, there is always a chance for redemption and even sunflowers.

Sunday, September 13, 2009



I like the ampersand. It's a very pretty piece of--well, it's not really punctuation, nor is it a letter. I must google it. OOh. It's a logogram. Cool. Learn something new every. single. day.

Anyway. A lot of fonts go curly and fancy on ampersands. I include it in my page title, although not in the url (I don't think you can in blogger). I remember using it a whole lot in an early draft of my dissertation and having my advisor ping about it. I know, I know. It's not formal and academese-y enough.

I use it a lot in poetry. ee cummings used it a lot, and perhaps that's one place his poetry has continued to influence mine. Since he was one of my first favorite poets (still is, in fact) I know his work has resonated on my brain since high school. So perhaps it's all his fault.

& then...

I hear a child messing with my other computer, the computer is pinging "help help help" at me. So my not-saying-anything-really blog post is now officially over.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Rainy Days Make Me Bloggy

Well I obviously haven't been writing much here. I've been so busy that it just doesn't seem like five minutes of blogging time gets factored in very often. But it's mostly good busy.

We're still fixing up old houses in the Highland historic district in town & then renting them out to folks at a reasonable rate. That still feels really good to do, in spite of the few bad eggs as tenants we've had. But it takes up a lot of time, because we don't cookie cutter the work. I go to Lowe's, pick out cool light fixtures that match the house's personality; we paint in colors that are comfy. We have handymen that jones to live in our places. That's gotta be good.

The kiddos are doing fine. Right now, in fact, they're napping, and needed a nap very much. They, and I, were both crabby earlier but we're better. Their dad is just now opening the door downstairs, and we're all good on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

That's the news & the weather.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Salamander Alert

Opening my campus office door, flipping on the light, I see something tiny scurry across the newly illuminated white floor space.

Um, what was that?

Could have been all kinds of things; we live in the Swampland, and those big roaches are never entirely gone from a building. (Palmetto bugs).

Instead, I see, on further peering about, a teeny tiny baby white salamander scurry under my desk.

Since we're on the second floor, and very concrete-tile-frigid-sterile 1970s Cold War Era building, I can't even imagine how that little fella' got here. Maybe there are entire colonies of salamanders that have never seen the natural sun. Existing on dropped cookie bits & copier toner.

Welcome, little friend. Stay off my toes, please. I think I'll call you Charlie.