Friday, September 21, 2007

Stupid People, Little Italy and Setting Free the Bears....

Disclaimer: This entry is going to be all over the place.

Topic 1: Why don't people say what they mean?

I received an email from a disgruntled employee earlier today. My boss is very controlling and he coaches me on what to say. I don't need his coaching...I know how to reply. This is KILLING ME. I love words. Words are to me like a hammer is to a carpenter. I like to use them. I search endlessly for the exact word to fit what I'm trying to express as if my life depended on it. But I think what's getting to me the most is how she ended the email..."with warmest regards," today opposite day? What she meant (did I mention she is disgruntled?) is "dietonightstupidbitch."

Topic #2: Olive St. Bistro...I met the Crystal and a couple of other friends there tonight and it was absolutely lovely. On the end of Olive St., in the middle of the 'hood, is a little taste of Italy. The Bistro is not much to look at from the outside. In fact, you could drive right past the place and never notice it. An old, small, beige house with a small, humble covered deck out front, sheltered from the street with thick, roaming ivy. The sign proclaiming "Olive St. Bistro" is barely visible beneath the climbing greenery. It leans slightly to the left, as if it doesn't care. It says to the world" Come in...or not...whatever."

But to those who come in, what a secret world awaits them! An elderly, round gentlemen in a brown, polyester suit is playing piano, an old upright..."La Vie en Rose", "Blue Moon", you name it, he plays it. Fernando, a suave man, slightly graying and tall, wearing a tweed jacket over a crisp white button-down shirt, with an incredible presence and sensual accent, is the manager. He walks from guest to guest, warmly greeting and making conversation. The food is incredible, old world, rich and colorful and the staff, warm and knowledgeable about the menu. I love this place. I feel like I'm in Italy. Or at least as close as I can get, seven blocks from my house, in the 'hood.

Topic #3: My dear friend, Dino, sent me the journal in the picture above for a newly grandmother present. I'll have to admit that at first, it sat in a corner in my office, and occasionally, I poked at it with a stick and grunted. It's completely foreign to me. It wants me to shred pages, burn pages, spill food onto pages, make paper airplanes out of pages and tie a string around it and take it for a walk. Diahn has convinced me to embrace the journal! To look at it as an adult activity book! To set myself free by totally disregarding, annihilating, writing, coloring and spitting on this book. I think I'm liking this idea. Maybe she's onto something. Yesterday, I sorta spilled cold coffee onto page one million and three...and then I did a little dance. Don't laugh, it was all staged, but I'm learning...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sunflower Girl

About twenty miles away from town is a huge field of sunflowers. There's a sign between the highway and the field that says "In Loving Memory of Clyde." I can't think of a better memorium than to have an entire field of flowers planted in my memory. Especially sunflowers. Bigger than life, warm and rich in color with big, beautiful round faces.

This is my daughter Stevey's sunflower...she painted it last year in her eighth-grade art class. I love this watercolor. It hangs on the wall in my office at home and makes me so happy that I've decided to build the entire color scheme for my office around this picture. She thinks she isn't artistic and can't paint worth a darn...silly girl...if she only knew. It's the coolest thing in the world to watch her grow into herself, to watch her realize who she is becoming.

She's blooming...

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sepetember 11, 2007...a new day dawning

Yesterday, my life changed.

Sure, you say, it's always changing and of course, you're right. But somehow, it shifted in a huge way without my permission. No one asked me if I was ready, and in fact, I'm not. No one told me to take notes on this particular life changing event.

No one told me I would feel this way.

But most importantly, my mind has deceived me. My mind tells me that I'm still young, impulsive, cool, maybe even sexy on a really good day, in the proper lighting. My mind says I'm too young to be a grandmother.

Forty-two. A grandmother. My mother was forty-two when she became a grandmother but I never realized how young that was.

I have a grandson. He is beautiful and his name is Brian Paul. Life goes on, ever so sweetly and completely.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Stacking Apples

I'm not sure why I'm writing today. I don't have a clear direction but someone who I read recently said write, even if it's shitty. Nothing new, but maybe seeing it written in such a stripped down way made me trust this piece of advice more than I normally would. The only writing I do these days is this blog, which consists of eleven paltry entries after nearly a year. Although I did recently begin writing a novel (ha) and gave myself a year to finish. My deadline is June 2008. I haven't touched it since the day I started.

See...even right now, I'm thinking stop. This sucks. You're not saying anything of worth, just useless babble. But I'm going to continue because I've been advised to write, even if it's shitty. Only I wonder if shitty is the same thing as useless? I guess shitty could encompass a myriad (thanks, D) of adjectives which I will now attempt to list: shallow, pointless, drivel, rambling, uninspiring, boring, childish...I don't think this is helping nor does it qualify as a myriad. This isn't very clever or inspiring which does however, remind me of a poem I wrote in college when I was raging against writing a villanelle. I will now post this poem for my one lonely reader's viewing pleasure.

On an assignment to write a villanelle

Try to force the words, like square pegs into a round hole,
into the right place, the right spot.
Make sure they lay just right, apples in a bowl.

That's not the right metaphor, apples in a bowl.
Apples are dying. You can almost smell the rot.
The trick is to use words, pieces of the whole, stacked in a bowl.

Or maybe it's like trying to bake a cake, only being told
you can only use one cup of everything, organic or not.
And don't forget the secret ingredient, apples in a bowl.

I'm really getting tired of this, it's not original or bold.
This villanelle is killing me and I'm not
reeling in images, like apples in a bowl.

And what can I fill this tercet with? Something new or old,
something borrowed or original, or flecked with polka-dots?
No matter. Just make sure they lay just right, apples in a bowl.

So technically I've done it, though in the process I've grown old.
And these flimsy words begin to rot
because even though they may be stacked just so,
they lack the feel of something real, these apples in a bowl.