Syndactyl Salutations

Thoughts on writing, knitting, and the world around me.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Strange Week

The past week has been odd, parts of it just a bit off. The visit with my aunt didn't really happen. I mean, I saw her for a few hours the first night she was here, and she came to see me at work before she and my cousin took off on the next leg of their trip, but I didn't get to actually converse or visit with her at all. I was bummed.

The whole weekend was like that. I kept feeling left behind, left out, or forgotten. None of it was intentional, and any incident on its own wouldn't have made me think much, but they just piled up enough to sort of freak me out.

Then there's work. Tomorrow is official promotion day. I think I'm going to dress as if I'm starting a brand new job, even though I'll be doing the same things I was doing today and my new boss is on vacation this week.

My old uber-boss has her final day Friday, but it may be moved to tomorrow. Things are just getting more and more tense, but I don't see them being any less so once she leaves. That just leaves my former departmental cohorts wondering who will end up taking her place.

I should talk about politics here, I suppose, though I guess it doesn't need to be specifically in this post. Oh, why not.

He wrote a letter to the editor that got published last week -- a very intelligent, well-thought-out rant against the current administration and all of the things they've done in the name of corporate greed, and some things people can do about it in terms of consumption and voting.

He got a couple of phone calls a few days afterward from people agreeing (well, I got the phone calls and gave him messages) with what he had to say. Today he got a letter from one of the callers volunteering for any unpaid army he may be thinking of forming!!!

Attention concerned citizens: Militias are not the answer! Exercise your right to vote; refuse to drive gas-guzzling automobiles; refuse to shop at places such as Wal-Mart which drive small businesses out, promote unfair labor practices, and encourage production of cheap goods by exploited peoples in third-world countries; write your representatives at any and all levels of government.

Do the things that can be done at the level of the individual. If enough of us do these things and express our outrage through words and non-violent action, change may begin to happen. Taking up arms to throw them out is not going to do anyone any good!

Okay, political rant nearly over. My other area of concern at the moment is the apparent escalated use of the Individual Ready Reserve. That is, calling up soldiers who have left legally without them having to volunteer. I know a couple of people for whom this could become an issue, and I am concerned. Especially since they could be called to be sent into a war zone that is defiant of international law and decency on many levels.

Hopefully my next post will be more cheerful.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Ahhh, Friday...

Not that I have any huge plans for this evening. Just the fact that the weekend has arrived is enough, somehow. I was going to come home and plant my container of portulaca, but it has begun the sporadic sprinkling to which we have been prone of late, so they'll have to wait a bit longer. At least they're not drying out.

I may walk up to the shopping center, sit in the cafe and write for a bit, then rent two or three movies. I transferred my notebook from a full one to an empty one last night and noticed how few movies I saw last month. I've decided the time has come to rectify the situation. I keep toying with the Netflix idea, but for now it'll be Blockbuster, since I didn't get to the library today.

'Bout it, slow day, too humid to think clearly.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Just Quickly

Sorry I haven't been posting. I just haven't had the energy or desire to go online at home lately, and I usually don't do this at work. I'm on a down cycle right now as it is.

I had a migraine for a couple of days last week, and family stuff isn't getting any better, though on some level it probably never will.

On the upside:

I'm getting back into working on the knitted baby blanket for my friend, hopefully the baby will have it prior to preschool.

I took photos of his band's first gig, it went well and they've already jumped into learning new stuff, including originals.

I'm still slowly getting rid of things, but that has decreased in intensity as well.

My favorite aunt (with whom I share a birthday, but not a birthyear) is coming to visit in a few days! It has been years, maybe even a decade (??) since I've seen her in person. It'll be good for my mother to have her here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Simplify, Simplify

I am still working on getting rid of things I do not need or want at this point in my life. I've been making decent progress in some areas and have come across stumbling blocks in others.

I've been getting rid of things from previous relationships that I just don't need to hold onto anymore. I have the memories. I don't need things to remind me of the good ones, and I'd rather not have the things that remind me of the bad ones.

Two things I have not been able to get rid of so far are my journals dating back nearly twenty years and my wedding photos.

Most of the things in the older journals are not even worth reading now -- a single line about how much I like my eleventh-grade crush -- come on. I just can't bring myself to toss them though, just in case. So they're still in the back of my closet under the rag doll my mother made that looked like me at the time.

As for the wedding photos, I've been divorced for six-and-a-half years. I only hear from that ex when he wants something from me and I have no contact at all with his family. But I can't get rid of the photos. When I was going through old photos yesterday, I pulled a bunch of wedding photos of myself and my family and stuck them into the newly available spaces in my regular photo albums. They are pictures of people who have passed on and of people who were happier then than they are now (even if it wasn't necessarily about the wedding), which covers the entire family at this point. It was nice to see my parents and youngest sister particularly looking happy and healthy and young. I wish I had a magic wand that could take what was captured in those photos and give it back to them now, when they need it so much. All of the other photos are back in the top of my closet until I look at them next and decide what to do with them.

I want to keep plugging away at this purge I have started until I have only a handful of things, at most, that I have to question keeping. I want the rest to be only things I want, use, and enjoy.

On a tidying note, I got my kitchen looking so nice last night that when I finished breakfast this morning I actually washed the dishes by hand and put them away so it would stay that way. If only I could get to that point with the rest of the house. I think I have a date with a triple-loader on Thursday.

Don't you wish your life could be as enriching as mine?

Thursday, June 10, 2004


I'm still in the ongoing process of getting rid of stuff around here. Tonight I pulled a bunch of sewing stuff that I have never used. It was given to me when I still lived in Germany and I've moved it several times.

I don't know why I hold onto this stuff, but I'm trying really hard to get rid of it these days. There is still plenty of stuff I can look at and wonder why I have it and still not get it out, but I've made a dent in the past week or so. I'm going to be going to Goodwill with a nearly full backseat Saturday morning, I can't wait.

I've gotten back into reading self-improvement stuff on the web. I find myself doing it, even though I should just get on with it rather than reading about it. I guess I feel like if I read enough of it, something will spontaneously rub off on me.

Grrr...I hate being so drenched in self-doubt, positively drowning in low self-esteem.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004


I am so glad we do this every week. I enjoy the exercise, even if I feel myself dragging halfway through. My thighs were not bothering me today so it made playing easier... Okay, this is the most boring I've been in quite some time, I think.

Today just wasn't very exciting. I cleaned the inside of the refrigerator door when I got home from work. That pretty much sums it up.

I'm pretty sure I had something more interesting to talk about, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Sorry

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Short Pause

I did so well for a week, then almost lost it. Things were a little hectic for a couple of days, wandering around a street fair, finding out I'd completely forgotten my car inspection. I was informed about that by a very generous city police officer who told me without ticketing me. Thank you, whoever you are.

My car spent the day at the dealership, and I spent more on it than I usually do on vacations. But I needed the maintenance to keep the warranty valid, and I needed the inspection and emissions testing to not get ticketed, so I guess it was a fair trade.

The facade construction has entered the destruction phase. They took the name off of the front of the building and started getting rid of the awning (not really the right word, it's sort of closer to a marquee, maybe), so I made sure to get the photos of the day. Wonder if they'll consider compensation if I end up with a decent record of the way things went? I'm not counting on it, and I'm doing it more for myself than work anyway. I wanted to be able to chronicle something measurable, and this seemed to be the best choice.

I'm still not writing. I'm not happy about that, but it's just not happening.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Gloomy Weather

I had a Saturday during which I did not have charge of the children, and it rained all day. I was good, though, and did not spend the entire day at home with the covers over my head (just part of it).

I took my bag of books to Book ReSort and had a leisurely lunch at Enchanted Forest, which I haven't done for months. I got a chance to talk to the owners for a bit after everyone else had gone, you know, ruin their day with my tales of family horror...

My interlude of curling up under covers came after lunch, but during that time I did begin reading A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman. Get it, read it now. She gives many facts and examples written in gorgeous, poetic language. I want to be her when I grow up. She writes for Parade Magazine (Sunday paper insert) occasionally, and I have at least one of those essays clipped because it was so moving. I am going to have to buy this book at some point. I've decided this based on reading less than a quarter of it. The turns of phrase and rich description are amazing, let alone the quantity and quality of facts and examples she uses to illustrate the topic on which she is writing. Makes me waver between sitting down and writing and never writing again in the face of such eloquence and intelligence.

The book I did buy after borrowing it at the library for a week is one on schizophrenia. I've read a small amount of it, and I'll read more eventually. It's good and helpful information, but difficult to read and recognize at present. I wanted my own copy so that I could mark it up and take as long as I needed to get through it without having to renew or take it back and forth to and from the library.

I hope tomorrow is marginally less sodden than today, the free concerts in Long's Park start in the evening and there's a block party downtown during the day. I'd like to attend both without fear of catching a chill or getting my photographic equipment too wet.

I have an idea for diy gifts, but I need to go through my stuff and see if I can actually manage it, maybe I'll let you know once I have a better handle on the possibilities...

Friday, June 04, 2004

Strange Day

I did more weeding and got rid of more stuff, including an electric typewriter I've had since high school, but that's not what made it strange.

Work was strange because the person who has been a boss consistently is probably leaving, and I saw more information today than I needed to about why. The whole day was sort of tense and scattered and I'm not sure what I'll come back to on Tuesday.

The strangest thing of all, though, was the brief conversation I had with X. I haven't had a civil conversation with him for years, and it wasn't too long ago that I was practically running from him. He had passed along good wishes regarding my horrible situation through mutual friends the other day. I happened to see him today when I went to buy salsa, so I screwed up my courage and walked over to thank him. It went well and stayed well for the few words we exchanged. I shook for five minutes afterward. I wish we were still friends, but it'll probably never happen, and there's nothing I can do about it.

So, strange day.

Oh, the eggs have progressed to hatchlings. I got to see one of the parent robins feeding them while I was pulling weeds. Little naked heads and giant triangular gaps accepting bits of earthworm. It was SO COOL!

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Inner Gardener

I think I'm finally finding my inner gardener again, she disappered rather abruptly mid-April, but I think she's ready to come out of hiding. Of course, I haven't planted anything yet, but I'm making great progress weeding my overgrown front bed and I'm beginning to imagine things in it.

I spent half an hour on my knees in the dirt when I got home this afternoon and had a decent sized pile of stuff to compost by the time I gave my joints a break. I'm thinking of going to a greenhouse this weekend. I want to put Portulaca in front, just fill the bed with them. I only hope I can find some at this late date. If not, I'll go for any bright bedding plants I can find. I want color, my roses are blooming and fading really quickly at the moment.

I'd like to do at least one bed in the back again, but I'm not yet sure that I will squeeze it in. I guess I'll just have to see what the weekend brings.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Opportunities Missed...

I have been carrying my cameras with me every time I leave the house lately, just in case. I didn't take the bag with me when I went to my weekly racquetball date, but figured it was just the gym, so I didn't go back.

When we left after playing for an hour and soaking our legs in the hot tub for fifteen minutes, it had begun to rain, and I noticed a faint rainbow. As I drove toward the highway, it became more intense and broke free of the clouds. I was kicking myself for not having brought my camera to capture a perfect horizon to horizon full-prism rainbow. I tried to tell myself to just relax and just enjoy being able to see the rainbow. It worked intermittently, but as I got on the highway and was about to put the rainbow behind me, I noticed that there was a double rainbow on one end.

I am happy that I was able to look at the rainbow and enjoy it for as long as I could as I drove toward it, but I still wish I'd had my camera with me.

What does all of this say about me? I don't think I really want to know. Probably that I need to relax and know that these things come when they come and I just need to do with them what I am able at the time. If I could have gotten a picture, that would have been great, but since I couldn't, it was enough to be able to watch it through my windshield and feel as though I was driving under its arc.

I'm trying to simplify in terms of the things I own and want materially, but I should probably try to do the same with other aspects of my life as well.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Lighten Up

I want to get rid of stuff. I keep saying this, and sometimes I follow through. Today I took four bags of clothing and a writing box from my ex-husband to Goodwill. The clothing had been bagged and in and out of my trunk for a while, and the box was something I no longer used and was a reminder of a time I'd rather put behind me.

I put it all on my back seat before I left to meet my mother for lunch. I dropped it off on my way home. If it had gone in the trunk again, who knows how long it would have stayed. I have been hauling firewood in there for over a year now.

I also got rid of stuff by paying bills and mailing things that needed to be mailed. Very small things, but they still left and meant a few things I no longer needed to worry about taking care of when I had time.

I'll return library books in a couple of days and will drop a bag of books of at the Book ReSort on Saturday, and will keep looking at things to thin out in the meantime.

My parents have been making nearly weekly runs to an auction house with stationwagon-loads of stuff for nearly a month, I believe. I don't have as much stuff to get rid of, but we are of a like mind when it comes to lightening our respective loads at the moment. I just hope I can keep it up until I reach the point of having just enough. I hope I know that point when I reach it.