Monday, April 21, 2014

Ringmaster

The weather has been hot, but not as hot as it's been in the desert.  Driving to the desert is nutty on some days since the van does not currently have AC.  But it was a glorious Palm Springs Easter anyway.

I've been working for Lisa for six months now.  I know how to sand and dry brush a poppet.  I know how tiny umbrellas are made.  I now write ad copy and spin brushes on my tongue for a finer tip and field customer service like it's my job or something.  And every few weeks she takes me out for some Goodwill shopping--because $3 is all it takes to treat yourself sometimes.

When I report to the studio there are orders I need to pack.  After this last sale, there were about 60 of them, and we're still chipping away at that nonsense.  Or I will grab my apron and start putting the base coats on Daisy Kate or Poppet On Tour.  In the kitchen Willie cooks us comfort foods like Mac n Cheese or Home Fries.  And now Lisa has purchased empty Otter Pop style wrappers that she's freezing different refreshing liquids in, some with coffee, some with fruit, some with booze.


I sit down at whatever workstation she isn't at and squirt out a glop of harbor blue paint and take my pick of the available brushes.

There are hundreds probably.  Mostly in the same spazzed out state of overuse, none are really any better than another.  We get new ones all the time but they all end up looking fried because of the major increase in the volume of poppets that the shop is selling.

It's actually quite fantastic.

I know that waiting for me is my next big task:  opening up my franchise.  It's what I was brought out to the studio to do in the first place, but I had to help increase revenue first so that a second shop could open.  This is why I was given the title "liaison" instead of just "studio assistant."  My job, aside from painting all these little goobers and running the grunt work end of all things art, is to manage a shop on the side that is full of collaboration pieces and merchandise.

I have been slow to start on this project because I have been overly busy and I am managing a sort of "depression light" thing right now.  By depression light I mean that I can get out of bed, I am not as tired as I used to be, and I don't ball all of the problems into one large thing.  This is thanks to therapy and medicine.  I do, however, lack motivation at times and honestly if I don't feel like doing something I won't do it.  I will not drag myself to get something done.  I will either do it or I won't.  When I first started the medicine though, I could just do things.  I didn't have to drag, I would just show up and do it.

Now, literally, if I do not see the money in my account, or the grade on my paper, or the food on my plate, fuck it.

Fuck it all, in fact.

Fuck you.  Fuck him.  Fuck that guy.  And fuck everything.  Fuck your Honda and fuck that corn bread.  Fuck the space needle and fuck Charlie Daniels.  Fuck Felisha and fuck bicycles and fuck that old table outside of the antique shop.  Fuck this computer.  Fuck the roundabouts.  Fuck email.  Fuck time.  Fuck energy.

And it's not as if I intended it to be this way.

I've been handed an opportunity to run a franchise--a real business with a real built in collector base full of real authors and independently wealthy art collectors.  I love this.  This is great.

What else though is I've liked not being the boss for a while.  I like that my job is dictated by what the boss lady needs, and that if I paint a face wrong, you know what?  This isn't my art, I can't get upset that I didn't do it right.  Whereas if someone told me a picture I took wasn't composed well enough I'd be like "fuck."  I like being first mate.  I like being Girl Friday.

Taking on the responsibility of a second shop is serious business.

It isn't my work that's going into it.  It's other artists that have been rounded up to use Lisa's art to create new art, or to translate it through a new medium.  I mean, I will put my little things in, like nesting dolls similar to the ones I painted for her for Christmas.  I will be assembling various merchandise for sale, but none of this is "me."

Still, I have cold feet.  I have cold feet and loose shoes.  Still, it's show time and the curtain is opening this week.  I will be the ringmaster.  Lisa will collect royalties.  Something about cleaning her oven while she sleeps.

I've come up with little business ventures on the side before.  In 2006 I had my own Etsy shop, and of course I did the photography thing for seven years.  I even started a snack delivery service.  All of those were done out of desperation and survival.  Those elements are missing here--thankfully--but I'm having a hard time moving past the idea that I can just, you know, do things without it being an emergency.  I am trained to feel like the other shoe is waiting to drop.

And it really isn't.

I've had some rest.  Six months of medication that mostly works to take the edge off, lots of learning and flexibility.  Someone else's art that I am promoting and organizing.  I'm not really in charge.

Big deep sigh.  Big deep sigh and calm harbor blue ocean.

I'll just keep floating along in my fake pearls and smile for the camera when it points my way.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Keeping To The Shoreline

Employing the tools that I got from my Human Sexuality class on fighting, I took control of a situation yesterday with my ex that would have been a big dramatic explosion a year ago, or maybe even six months ago. 

The situation is that we have the last bit of court paperwork to file, and I haven't had the time to do so because of work and school.  He offered to come down to do it for me, and I happily took him up on this offer.  And so there was to be an exchange that was not child related.

I do not want to see David's face.

I don't want him to breathe my air.

These are of course sarcastic manifestations of "I really don't like you and I know that when we interact it goes south very quickly."  Sarcasm is part of my very slow to burn style of fighting.  Even though we were not fighting at this point, like the sailor said quote:  stormy weather.  Even if I am only using this sarcasm for to quell my internal churning of abhorrence and formulate a plan of action to resolve the issue.  

Identify the issue:  I have to give paperwork to my ex, which means I am vulnerable to being goaded into a fight I do not want to employ the labor to have.  (This assumption is based off of previous encounters we've had.)

--Note that I am using I statements.  I don't have any responsibility for his half of things, nor is it my job to plan how he needs to behave.   I am only responsible for me. 

I have decided that I do not want to give him access to my person.  We will communicate minimally via text messaging or email.  

I have a few choices for how to make this happen.   

  • I can have someone else make the exchange for me, but that is taking someone's time and there's already enough collected time in the world wasted on this individual.  
  •  I could overnight mail it to his mom's house, but then I'd be wasting money.  
  • Leaving it somewhere that he can retrieve it from, but there is risk involved in making sure that it gets to the right hands. 
The last solution seemed to have the easiest execution, because one place I know of that would be safe to leave something is my front doorstep.  If you saw the amount of garden gnomes, poppets, and tiny Easter Island head statues I have on my front porch, you'd understand that I have faith that if something is placed there, my neighbors and their guests generally tend to have the amount of boundary respect it takes to not touch my stuff. 

I've determined a place for this to happen.  As for time, I decided not to have it happen while I wasn't home.  No, I do not want to interact with the fella, but I also didn't want something to happen while I am away.  For example, him attempt to break in or if he gets into a fist fight with my neighbor or something random that probably won't happen but since I really don't know who I'm dealing with anymore, could possibly happen. 

I also didn't want it to happen abruptly after getting home or during a time when I would likely be eating or cooking, so I chose 7.  7 is a good number.  And, to boot, the good thing is that he asked me what time would work best for me.  I've been psychologically conditioning him to behave a certain way when dealing with me, and it has worked. 

I love school. 

Now, the outcome I wanted was to leave the papers tucked into my screen door, he shows up and gets them, and he leaves.  It pretty much went off without a hitch, except that I forgot to sign something.  He texted me, and then knocked on my door, and then attempted to call me. 

None of these things were unreasonable, they were just annoying.  I chose to respond via text message, because I wouldn't have to see his face or hear his voice.  And because I didn't want to see his face or hear his voice, I told him to leave the paper that needed to be signed, go back to his car, and I will tell him when he can come back. 

"Why don't you just come out here with a pen?" he asked. 

Welp, I don't want to.  He's come to my turf, he's going to have to do things the way I am comfortable doing them.  I insist that we do it my way. 

The word he always resorts to when he realizes that I am not budging is "Fine!"  Not "okay," or "all right," but FINE.  Well, he said Fine and went to his car, texted me from his car to say he was at his car, I got my taser and opened my door to get the paper, sign it, and put it back.  The taser was just in case he was standing there and I needed to give him a warning zap to respect my boundaries.  Okay, no it was really just in case in the unlikely event that he was getting me to open the door so he could get physical. 

Done. 

Except he had follow up questions.  I didn't know the answer to them and said so. 

And that was that. 

And you may be thinking to yourself "why does everything have to go your way?"  The answer to that was stated toward the beginning of this story:  I am only responsible for me.  I remember what happens when we interact in person.  I have the intelligence to make this easy on both of us.  Also, I am naturally in charge of everything.  Leadership skills for the win. 

I mean--why assume that he is going to take charge?  Why assume it will go well this time?  Why bother planning?  Why hope that he can change? 

He can't change, that's why the marriage ended, and it's not up to me to put that burden on him anyway.  Only you can prevent forest fires is the most absurd You Statement of the century.  It should be that only I can prevent forest fires, because only I can be responsible for my actions. 

Of course, the fact that there was slightly more interaction than I had planned on had me venting out my annoyance to friends.  One of my friends, Kevin, the widower of my friend Angie said that this story reminded him of a time that we drove down to San Diego to visit them.

When was it? Hmm... back when Ang and I were hanging in San Diego. You and David came down and spent a day (with yummy sausages). You and Ang chatted away and I ended up taking a boat ride with D. 

Yeah, said boat ride was fun in the sun, but I really got the impression that there wasn't much going on upstairs, or maybe he just wasn't boat-savvy. That led to me having a little "heart to heart Dad to Son" kind of talk with him on just what exactly his plans were, where he saw himself right now, step up or step off, etc... Didn't get any return on that, so I shrugged and let him do his thing. 

His thing consisted of keeping to the shoreline 'cuz he could see the bottom of the lake and any fish he was trying to catch and I guess it seemed to him easier to fish like that. I pointed out that we were in a boat designed to go into the lake where larger fish were and yes it requires more investment of time and patience but better returns in the long run. That analogy just glanced off his noggin like a skipping stone. After about 5 minutes of "in the lake", he headed back to shoreline fishing:  His Thing.

The first thing that came to mind after reading this was "this is the perfect metaphor to describe why my first husband did not work for me--how I like a certain amount of investment and risk and living up to potential, and how he displayed none of that."  

The second thing that came to mind after reading this was "He has a phobia of water."  

When I told Kevin about his water phobia, Kevin said "well he could have just mentioned that instead of going through all that worry, but he didn't." 

Speak up for yourself because You are responsible for You.  

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Fighting

I'm going to share more notes from my favorite class, Psychology of Human Sexual Behavior.


We're going to look at Fighting.

We fight with people in pretty much every area of our life:  family, romantic partners, friends, Target managers, professors, co workers and bosses, random people on the internet.

So there's five things about fighting that we need to sit and identify.

Style
Issue
Time
Place
Outcome

If you're reading this you're either doing it because you normally read whatever is posted to this blog, or you want to get better about fixing the way that you fight so that you can have healthier relationships. 

The first question you must ask yourself is what style of fighting do you use?

Really, think about that for a moment.  Do you use positive fighting tactics?  Do you intend to hurt the other person worse than they can hurt you?  Are you slow to burn?  Do you insult?  Do you get all destructive?  Do you avoid confrontation all together? 

There are some websites that will help you identify your fighting style, like this test on Psychology Today

It is important to identify your fighting style so that you can understand how to adjust your behavior and use healthier tactics when engaged in an argument.  


I, for example, am slow to burn.  At first when the fuse is lit, I analyze.  I try to think of all the reasons why this person is saying these things--what they're REALLY saying, and how I can keep this fairly calm and analytical. And as that long fuse is smoldering, I become more and more sarcastic.  Sarcasm is a coping mechanism and defense tactic I've grown attached to.  Unfortunately, when the fuse runs out, after being goaded and harassed for some time, the bomb goes off.  I do or say something very hurtful that I will likely regret later.  But I own it.  And I will either stay to help clean up the mess if the relationship is worth saving, or I accept that those assholes got the best of me and it is what it is.

We're all friends here.  Except of course for those of us who are not.  Anymore.

This is called, for lack of a better term, "explosion mode."  In explosion mode, things have become personal.  Fights are not supposed to be personal.  And if you're fighting about something personal, you're with the wrong person.  Dump that friend, dump that boss, dump that bitch.  Nobody gets permission to attack your character.  

So, I've identified that I am a slow to burn sort of firecracker.

Next, when engaged in a fight, the two of you must decide and agree what the issue is.  

An example:  I'd forgotten to put my phone off of silent when I got home from school, and as a result I missed my ex asking me to have the children call him.  By the time I got to the phone, my messages had been blown up, one of which included the line "why don't you stop spending the child support on yourself and get them their own phone so I don't have to go through you anymore to speak to them."

What is the issue here really?  Is it as simple as the original subject that sparked the fight?  Or is that paved over with where the whole thing derails and goes into something unrelated?  


He didn't get to call his kids.  My mistake.  My phone was on silent and I'd not even remembered that he'd missed their attempt to call the day before, and that I said they'd try the next day since they had gone to bed before he was able to call back. 

But wait a minute--spending the child support on myself?

That certainly isn't true, and it also isn't fair.  Why is that even factored into the forgotten/missed phone call?

Okay, use child support to buy phone for children.  (Except that lately child support has been used to buy medicine, clothing, food, gas back and forth to school, field trips, etc.)

But why throw in that I'm spending it on myself?  Why is that the weapon?

What it must really be boiling down to is bitterness over money.  And if that's what the fight is really about, it gives me a chance to agree to discuss that particular issue (or not.)  If it had stayed strictly about the upset feelings about the phone call, that's where I can take responsibility for the mistake and the issue is resolved.

It is not fair to say "I'm mad at you for X but I'm throwing in Y since we're in fight mode."  Pick a thing.  Agree to hash it out.  If the other thing also needs to be hashed out, make it separate and agree to a time and a place to work on it.

"There's a time and a place" is a phrase we've heard our whole lives, but do we know what the time and a place for a fight is? 


Many of us don't.  I can tell you this much--it should not happen at blow up time.  Fuses are already burning and we're going to get to explosion mode very quickly.  This is why I prefer that my ex and I communicate via email.  It gives us both distance, and it gives us both time to react to the other one's words and maybe get some insight from our cheerleaders and mental health professionals.

I've had situations with Willie where we suddenly find ourselves in argument in the van with the kids in the back.  We're both cool enough to say "let's talk about this later" (time.)  Where we discuss it?  Maybe the living room, maybe Denny's depending on the subject matter.  We do not fight in the bedroom.

Do not fight in your place of rest, or your place that you consider to be tranquil.

We don't consider Denny's to be a romantic date kind of place, just a late night dinner place with a cheap menu.  If we choose to discuss something we disagree over at Denny's, it keeps us quiet, it gives us something to do, there's comfort milkshakes and cheese sticks, and all the negativity stays out of our home.

If it is something private, or more intense than what can be hashed out over hash browns, we keep it in the living room.  The living room is my workspace.  Yes it kind of sucks to be fighting where I do my work, but I've been a living room employee for so long that it doesn't even effect me anymore, especially since in my mind I consider Lisa's studio to be my actual place of business.

Maybe we'll go for a drive.  We don't get super emotional, and we don't have super intense fighting to do, so this works for us.  This might not work if there's anticipated crying or if your fighting style is more intense than mine.  Willie is actually very hot tempered (with the color comes the rage) but he has learned healthy fighting tactics along with me for the past few years since I have been focused on self improvement and better quality of life.

The point is that we don't do this in the bedroom.  Ever.  The bedroom is a place of rest and intimacy.

Once you've found the time and the place and identified the issue, it's time to identify what you want the outcome of the discussion to be.  


This is not I'm right and you're wrong, this is the resolution of the issue.  This is compromise.  This is how can we fix this?  Maybe we don't know the outcome, we only know the problem. 

Haul from a ice cream man in San Bernardino
Here's a story.  Willie has bad teeth, as do I, but I know that I have bad teeth and I do what I can to avoid pissing them off.  Willie, however, will eat peanut brittle and Mexican candy.  In fact, Willie has a problem.  A Mexican candy problem.  There will be times that I will stick my hand in the couch and find a cache of saladitos.  And one time I was coming home after dark and I thought someone had dropped a pipe in our driveway.  It was an empty tube of pelon.

Considering the guy quit smoking a few years ago, if this is his worst vice--that's fine.  Except that it puts him in super amounts of pain, he won't eat, he goes to bed early, he's digging in his mouth in public.  This annoys me for a few reasons.  One:  he's hurting himself.  Two:  it's diminishing our quality of time if we can't do things because he went on a tamarindo binge and now has a tooth ache.  Three:  that shit is full of lead and he's going to give himself worms.

One night we were on one of our late night visits to 7 Eleven--because if we aren't eating dinner at Denny's we're at the 7 Eleven.  I'm grabbing a cream soda and an egg salad sandwich, and he's filling up the front of his shirt with Lucas.  "Willie, what are you doing?  Don't you buy all that Lucas!"  "Mind your business," he tells me.  So I go and put my things on the counter and say to the man "Don't you let him buy all that damn Lucas!" and then Willie comes around the corner and empties his stomach pouch of like 15 of them.

"YOU'RE FUCKING RIDICULOUS," I yell as I storm out of the store.

"You're fucking ridiculous," he counters.  The man behind the counter laughs.  It turns out we're fucking ridiculous.

Just for the record, this was play fighting for the most part.  This isn't how we actually communicate with each other, it's more of a fun coping mechanism, because as I've explained there is a harsh reality at the base of Willie's love of lead filled chili snacks. 

So even with the fun we have with my nagging and his taunting, we've got a problem.

Let's stop and identify the issue again.  

He needs a dentist.  That is something we can give him now that we're covered.  But until he gets in he should find a new snack so he can stop disabling himself.  He agrees that he needs a dentist.  He disagrees that "a little tooth ache" is reason enough to give up his lead based treats.   It is my business because I see the results of the gorging and I am a person who cares about him, and also we have to cancel plans because he doesn't feel well.  It is none of my business because it's not my mouth.

We've had discussions about this.  At Denny's.  In the living room.  And when I walk into the bedroom and he's laid up and there are pelons in the trash, I just walk away.  The issue is resolved, because he will be going to the dentist.  In the mean time, I roll my eyes out of my head when we're at the 7 Eleven and he's filling his shirt up.

Tips for effective arguing

I'm going to share another personal story.  Yay for blogger overshare time!

The other day I get this phone call.  It's Jerry, my ex father in law.  He calls to ask me about some paperwork I haven't turned in to the court.  Just as I explained to my ex, I made a mistake and overbooked my schedule and I've tied myself up from being able to even schedule a doctor's appointment, let alone deal with court.  It is what it is, and it's out of my control.  This was, for whatever reason, not the answer he was expecting and so he tried to goad me into changing it to what reason he came up with in his own mind for the papers not being done. 

Here is how Jerry was lucky that I was in a calm mood and decided to simply cut the phone call rather than continue to argue until I got to my explosion mode. 
Whatever point you're trying to make should not be personal.  Stay OUT of the personal arena. 
 Two very big mistakes he made in his conversation with me were to mention that if I do not get the papers in before the deadline the result will be that he will have to pay my ex's court fees again, and that--never mind my clearly stated reason--the real reason must be because I want to cling on to the marriage as long as possible.

In regards to paying for my ex's court fees-- this is none of my business.  I do not need to know that anyone is having financial difficulties and someone else is paying the tab.  None of my business whatsoever.  Nor do I care considering that none of these people have minor children in the home that they need to keep the lights on and the fridge full for.  This is personal, this has nothing to do with me.  Finances that are not my own are none of my business.

And when it comes to "you're not busy you're just clingy," we've got a great little segue here into another point of effective arguing.

Use "I" statements as opposed to "You" statements.  I statements take responsibility, whereas You statements place blame. 

You don't knoooooooooooow me.  And furthermore, to insinuate that what I said isn't valid by substituting your own conclusion, it labels me as a fucking liar.  Furthermore, it's unfair because I've already taken responsibility for the thing that is true.  You can't force me to take responsibility for things that aren't true by goading me with more You statements.

"You just don't want to let go of him."

I am not going to allow you to call me names or make untrue statements about me.  It's not good for my self esteem. 

"That isn't true.  I said what the problem was."

"You know it's true."

"It isn't true, he and I already discussed the situation through email."  See, my ex and I have found a "time and a place" which for us is email.  There's no reason to involve a third party to discuss it.  I keep my friends in check, I don't have my mortician calling him, or even my fiance.  This phone call is abusive and asinine.

"You should have done it by now.  The only reason you haven't is because you don't want to let go for some reason."

"I already said," not that I needed to repeat myself but I was burning slow, "I don't have time.  I am in school and I work.  My schedule is tight.  I do what I can when I can."  

"You can take a day off of school to deal with this," he said matter of factly.  

"No.  I can't."

"Yes you can."

"No.  I can't do that."

"I've been to school.  I know you can miss class."

Again, you don't knoooooooooow me.  I am only responsible for me, and you are only responsible for you.  Now, I could make this about you.  About--when did you go to school?  80 years ago?  And now you're a bus driver complaining about paying your adult son's court fees?  I don't want to miss school because I don't want to end up like you.  He's goading me into a fight, and had my fuse blown he'd of got what he deserved. 

"I'm not missing school or work," is what I say.

"Well then you need to get your priorities straight."

What I could have said was "I am using I statements.  Could you please address me using I statements as well?"  

What I said was something along the lines of my job and my education being my priorities, and that whatever was upsetting him has nothing to do with me.

BECAUSE...see there's a because here...

He is upset that his son has to borrow money.  This isn't my problem.  I don't need to take the brunt of that annoyance.  I've identified it as misplaced butt hurt.  He's making the wrong phone call to the wrong person.

Re-identify that issue.

Don't exceed the boundaries of your responsibility.  You have the right to respect.  

Of course, he blathered on with his blaming You statements.

So I said "This conversation is over."  Had I found anything valid that he and I needed to discuss, I'd of said "I can't have this discussion right now."  (Observance of "time and place")

It is always okay to set boundaries.  Time and place are boundaries.  Even if the time and place seems appropriate for the other person, you both have to agree to it for it to be a healthy and fair discussion. 

I am not a fan of getting irrational phone calls while I'm trying to cook taco shells from people I don't want to speak to.  Had he called and been rational, just checking up, I'd of answered his question and said goodbye.  I can have civil conversations with stupid people.  I can have stupid conversations with civil people.  But this was not something we needed to discuss, ever.  This phone call should have never happened.  I don't know who his handlers are, but they need to up his dosage.

Hashtag not my problem.

Of course, saying "this conversation is over" didn't stop his blathering, and so I hung up.  He didn't call back.  He didn't need to call back.  No part of that conversation needed to take place between he and I.  He called to set me up.  He called to bully and goad.  I analyzed immediately when money was mentioned that this fight wasn't really about me, which made it easier to not be sucked in with personal attacks.  They're misdirected attacks.  I could feel sorry for him if I gave two shits and a fuck about him at all. 

Well, that happened. 

According to my professor, people with lower educations will only see it one way.

Welp.  We know who missed class.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thank Heaven For Little Girls

I'm so busy with everything that I don't look at anything.

I'm sure I'll look when I am older.

I've talked to my Foster Noodles counselor Rabakah about slowing down on my schooling and taking fewer classes from now on, because even at my reduced course load of 10 units, that's still three classes, and I am not able to dedicate the type of time that I should to any of them because of other things in my life that I need to do.

The one semester I pulled straight A's and made the honors list I was concentrating only on school.  I have found that I can be an A student when I am not employed.  But when I am not employed, I am stressed about funds.  So then when I am employed, I do well at work and not as well at school.  And now I am in a place where I am balancing doing fairly well at work and fairly well at school but I haven't any time to get anything else done, let alone slow down to nurture my mental health.

And Rabakah is like "you have a learning disability, being unable to multi task goes hand and hand with this."

Oh.

So we sat and reworked my ed plan, and I told her that after a lot of thought about it (and continuing dreams where the conversations are completely in sign language) that I want to go ahead and take the last three ASL classes they offer.  Even at a slower pace, I will only be graduating a year later than before, I will actually graduate with three associates degrees:  Psychology, Social Sciences, and American Sign Language.

That's a nice trade off.  It's the snail's pace to higher education, is what I told her.

"Jessie you need to tattoo this to the inside of your eyelids.  Quality over quantity.  Okay?  Just keep repeating that, write it down, hang it on the wall, just get it into your brain."

I can't keep doing this five days a week thing, not with my job.  Not with how tired I've been.

I've started drinking more water, hoping that will cure some of it.  I know part of it is what happened a few weeks ago, and how I haven't seen Rupert because of our spring breaks.  The medicine helps tremendously, but I need it in combination with the therapy.  It truly hit me one night when I decided to have some moscato with Morticia.

Num num num, it tastes just like apple juice!  All gone!

Yeah well two glasses of wine for me is like the most alcohol I've ever drank in my life so it probably wasn't a good idea, especially with my medication.  What I didn't realize is that alcohol works on the same brain function as the medicine does, so they canceled each other out and bam, there's all the scary stuff at the bottom of the ocean that I normally sail safely on a boat over.  I go down, down, down into a glass pod where I can see everything that sank and is growing over with saltmud and sucker creatures.  Old, but still very much there, and still not eroded.

So I discovered that moscato is very drinkable and that my medicine is indeed working and keeping me afloat on my safe little boat.

And I still need therapy.

As much as I thought I could do without it and considered talking to Rupert about graduating out...yeah no.

I'm discovering some new vision problems, a result of Mr. Right working overtime to compensate for Mr. Left for 30 years.  It's age, it's overuse, it's painting tiny flowers on tiny little totems for hours, it's reading textbooks under yellowish 40 watt light.

I'll get it fixed when I have time.

But there's that thing--time.

When I'm not in school, I'm at the studio or doing all other duties assigned as Girl Friday.  Packing, painting, corresponding, organizing, listing, documenting, ad copying, promoting, representing, directing the outsourcing, churn the butter, toss the salt, the sprinkler, start the lawn mower, spin.

Filling out stupid international customs forms.

Because France orders poppets.  UK.  Australia.  Especially Australia.  Oh, and the Philippines.

There was one address in the Middle East that I swear to god read something like "23 Blorg Street, building 2, crosswalk AS, 29th floor, 5th hall, door 16, slot 7."  It was like "make a left at the tree, then go two houses in, and if you see a guy with a hook for a hand you've gone too far."

Not that there aren't amazing moments.  I work for my favorite artist, and I see the art happen.  This assemblage that she has been putting together since the day I first came to the studio has suddenly turned bright mossy green, and excitedly she tells me that she installed a music box on it one day.

She turns the key and I watch little raindrops dance and fall as the barrel turns and the tines flick the charming little notes.

"What is this song?" I ask.

"Thank Heaven for Little Girls," she says.  "Isn't that creepy?"

"It's nonsense," I say, knowing that it's exactly genius and works with what the piece is about in such a sad and infuriating way.  "It's completely fucking nonsense."

She works on amazing pieces while I am away, and when we are together I tell her about what I learned in school, and we discuss things like the man who wants to reincarnate himself as a maxi pad that I found on the internet (that she specifically forbade me from contacting in any way--not that I was gonna--because if he has access to me he has access to her) and why the name of my religion class changed from Primitive Religions to Ethnic and Tribal Religions.  She says "I'm tired of this PC bullshit," and I say "but also it's almost like before they were saying that anything that wasn't Christian is primitive."

And then the question is--what does "primitive" come from, root wise?  Primate?  We get off the subject and I show her a video of a tiny circus of well trained rats.  "Rats will inherit the earth," she says.  They are smart little creatures.

What I don't say is that someone has offered me a six figure salary somewhere else doing something I really have no interest in doing.  Someone who has been watching me, just how she had been watching me before she decided to finally approach me and snag me. 

Yes I said six figure.

Yes I said salary.

Yes I said me.

Really.

I am already stretched for time.  I am already dedicated to the things I am dedicated to.

I have no interest in that industry, though I have more knowledge about it than the average person, and the skill sets to navigate it.  Survive in it and become the boss lady in it.  But again, I have no interest in it.  It does nothing inside of my soul to be a stupid part of it.

Quality over quantity.  

Yes Peter, it is possible to keep your wife in a pumpkin shell, but be prepared to face the insults she carves into the orange walls.

Quality over quantity.  

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Reflecting On Something That Was Big

Yes, Peter.  It is possible to keep your wife inside a pumpkin shell, but be prepared to face the insults she carves into the orange walls. 


The world that you need is wrapped in gold silver sleeves left beneath Christmas trees in the snow.