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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Mother Badger, circa 1934-36

After a really long day Tuesday, I sat down at the computer instead of packing for holiday camping as I'd intended to do. I noodled around on blogs and left my mark wherever I was moved to write. I checked my e-mail inbox almost as an afterthought. After all, the BlackBerry had not breeeeeenged me to attention, announcing incoming. However, the network had been acting oddly all afternoon after the wind began to roar, so I decided to take a look. Therein awaited a true treat ~ Mother Badger sent the chattiest e-mail in a long time and she made me laugh out loud in the privacy of my own home.

As she is wont to do, Mother Badger had been perusing blogs. She doesn't comment on the blogs, but makes her statements and asks her questions privately, through e-mail. So she dished with me about being "Les, the ex-Limes" and she claims she has entire generations of trigger points for her body worker to go after. I shall soon attempt to one-up her by sharing a statement Stephanie once made: "Leslie, basically your complete left butt cheek is a trigger point." Well! By the way, this week Stephanie went after the tibialis anterior muscles for a real treat. Let's just say that she found a number of trigger points commensurate with the number of miles I walk and it was a pretty unpleasant experience. I'm big on using Lamaze breathing techniques to ease discomfort - hey, it worked for me during childbirth which was about half as difficult as these leg trigger points. But that's not what I meant to talk about. I meant to say that I went to sleep Tuesday evening, grinning with delight over Mother Badger.

The view from my office deck as I arrived at work. Yes, those faint lights on the horizon are the fabulous Las Vegas Strip.

Wednesday morning I was pensive as I walked my miles. I have managed to keep an even keel across these holidays, mostly by trying to do many things differently. Westerman, who advises me about many things, counseled me to avoid certain people and certain subjects and to put some things on the back burner just for a month. He reminded me I needed to get more sleep and eat well. Every single day. I've tried to do that.

The view from my office deck after the coffee brewed.

What we dreaded has come to pass. The holiday season in which we got no crush of business. Down on the ground you see a couple of my war wagons. We used to have more home dudes than war wagons and there was a spirited competition between the homes to claim ownership of a particular chariot. Everyone wanted #3 - it has a great sound system. No one wanted #12 - it's the oldest in the fleet and behaves that way, too. We're smaller now, but still standing. Some days it feels as if I talk to more out-of-work carpet cleaners than potential customers. "Sorry, we're a bit slow ourselves right now." The vendor who sells us our cleaning products tells us weekly about the demise of yet another small business, and that vendor has reduced staff, as well. Sometimes I book a job and the customer will say, "You're the only company that answered the phone. The others are disconnected or the phone just rings." Yes, well, they've had to close their offices and the carpet cleaner can't hear his cell phone ringing while he's cleaning carpet.

I'm not depressed or panicked, but I am very concerned for what has happened to all of us, all working class Americans. I'm fed up with reading that the recession is over and then reading that reports of the recession being over are overly optimistic. In the last few days I have talked with potential customers who go far beyond the usual "pain in the butt" or "odd". Yesterday and today I spoke with one man and one woman whom I would classify as genuinely, certifiably batshit crazy. I didn't become annoyed by them. I reminded myself how stressful the whole world seems right now and it's the holidays, to boot. How do I know what they might be suffering? The technicians radio from almost every job now, to say, "This is a really sad situation." Husband lost his job, house is foreclosed, people are sick and can't afford medical care.

It's time to get ready to go away for solstice. I'm going to set everything down for just the few days and breathe deeply, feel the sun on my skin, dance in the solstice moon. It will take an effort to let it be for this short time. Sometimes the dance of guessing and second-guessing takes on a life of its own. I want to have a crystal ball. I want to know how it will all end. I want to know what's waiting just outside the tunnel. I want to feel confident and secure.

It is time to ready my little birdies for the long weekend and make several trips with packages to my car. It is time to make the special foods to be transported to the dunes. It is time to lay down the things that make our days difficult and find some brief respite. Soon I will sleep on the ground in heavenly peace. For just a little while. And when I come back, I will feel refilled, refueled, refreshed.

In my ears right now: True deal, Erin O'Brien's fault again. Who knew I was so suggestible? Love the song. It invites twirling dance with a long, flowing skirt. I agree the viedo is unremarkable. This is about the music.

Something that charmed me: Despite my trying to swear off the Christmas Nazi stuff, I made a 2:30 a.m. trip to Wal-Mart this morning. I'll confess the details in some other post. Another woman and I kept coming across one another in the aisles. She stopped to take off her coat. She draped it across her cart and I noticed she had her sweater on completely inside out. Not slightly mismatched buttons or a collar turned up. Label flapping, big bumpy sweater seams showing, inside out. I waited until there was no one else in the aisle with us and I mentioned it to her quietly. Hey, I'm a woman who'd want to know if I was trailing toilet paper from the back of my slacks or wearing my sweater inside out. "Mind your own damned business, you bitch." Yow. You know, I need a break.


  1. Happy Camping, Les. So THAT'S what you were doing up at 2:30 in the morning....

  2. Ah the joyous sounds of Christmas. Were have you gone Frank Capra. I need you to capture the spirit of Christmas present,2009 style. Mind your own damn business, bitch, blow it out your ass MFer. fa la la la, la la la la.

  3. Dear Kass and Dear Tag ~ Yep, out at all hours acting the Christmas Nazi. That was some "Heil Hitler" I got from the sweater storm trooper! This weekend in the desert (48 or more hours too late) I came up with a list of appropriate quips I could have tossed back. I'm mortified to say I couldn't come up with much on the spot.