It's a delicate phrase (that conjures up quite an image when applied to me!) - "wrestling bear" - that means "dealing with stuff". Sorting out the jiggle in one's Jell-0, the junk in one's trunk. Handling one's problems or chewing on stuff. I'd just completed conducting a whirlwind, 'round-the-world magical mystery birthday tour on my bus and I ran out of gas. Precipitously. I knew I needed to apply the brakes, park the bus and retreat to some quiet place. I stayed off the blogs almost 100% for 3 1/2-4 days. I didn't give up e-mails as completely. A girl doesn't want to lose her oxygen or blood supply. I added extra walking miles, read a complete book, ate some foods I hadn't enjoyed in awhile - no, this does not mean overeating. It means consuming good foods that require some actual preparation. And I am better for all of that. Clearer headed. For you see, although when we enter the ring, the bear expects to win the match and I expect to lose it, that's not usually how it shakes out.
And so . . have I bent anyone's ear (or eye, since one reads the blogs) about liking things that work as intended and disliking things that do not? Ahem. Blogger is a mixed bag of stuff for me. A free platform to write and interact with others. But I'm sometimes left with Blogger egg on my face. Do other bloggers get into such a twist as I do when Blogger conspires against them? The answer is probably "yes", "no" or "maybe". But I get into a twist. I've blogged about the Starbucks mug given to me by a very young woman who considers me her mentor. It says "Meticulosity: an extreme attention to detail." Little Jazzy laughs and says it would have helped her to have seen that tattoo on my forehead the first time we met, but she soon figured it out. That's how I am - I give attention to the small stuff. So imagine my horror today to look at my own blog and discover what Blogger or the gods had done to me on Kass' birthday post. I spent hours sizing the pics so they'd line up side-by-side. I'd spent forever downsizing the YouTube clips that had nothing but one photo and the soundtrack. I'd been meticulous about the size of the photos so Elisabeth's head would not be 1/6th the size of her husband's famous onion tartlet, and what was I looking at now? Why was Tag's poem spaced with so much open air running through it? How come Kim's beautiful gifts were oversized splats in the middle of the post, with miles of pink air space? How in the world did I post Kass' birthday at 2:00 a.m.on her birthday, yet 3 comments had been posted on April 24th the day before? Look closely, those of you who wrote to say, "Where did my comment go? I know you posted it. I saw it." [For the record, I post virtually every comment except those I'm asked not to - the ones that are a shoulder tap kind of message. I've now fixed that up by attaching an e-mail account to the Profile.] And why, the Sam Hill, did it all look completely different again one hour later? Yow. I don't know the answers. I am not required to be knowledgeable about everything, and I cannot be such. First these things made me crabby. Then they made me crabby about blogging.
It struck me that I posted my first blog post exactly 11 months ago. Blogging has fulfilled me and frustrated me. It has connected me with both like-minded and polar-opposite people. It has taught me to appreciate how well some people do things that don't even intrigue me. But their passion draws me. I've watched some bloggers simply disappear and others announce they're taking a break. Some who are taking a break pop up for a moment at the most wonderful times. I read both Kass and Elisabeth at some length commenting on the amount of time the blogs take up and I'm right there with you, ladies. Writing for my own, commenting to those I follow. I am struck, after my bear wrestling, with something that unsettles me. I work far too much. Old news. I walk way too many miles which also takes up too much time. Seven-year-old news. I spend too much time time blogging. That's news. And I do little else at all too much. Hmm.
During this week of experiencing some malaise, I forgot to go check that newly attached-to-my-blog e-mail account. It's one I've rarely used, and I forget to check it very frequently. Thank you to those who dropped me a note and I'm sorry if I seemed a tortoise before responding. Friend Tag, who was in my real e-mail account, you'll know I wasn't handling it very well, either, or something you sent would have seen the light of the blogosphere by now. It's coming! Even when I have to arrive late, I still arrive. Full of sincere apologies.
Yesterday, I drove home through a war zone. The weather is the enemy and the wind the most ferocious weapon in its arsenal. All I had at hand was a very small Nissan. The more ballsy forecasters had predicted wind gusts up to 70 mph. They were right! I left the office going south on Rainbow. Every side street acted as a tunnel, slamming me with crosswinds that moved my car around. I remembered the reminders on TV ~ "Keep both hands on the wheel!" No kidding. I knew what I was in for. Turning west on Desert Inn, I started to buck the headwind. It was unlike anything I've ever experienced. Oh, yes, I am the woman who camped through a night of 75 mph gusts, but I remained in the tent. I didn't have to see anything. Now, the traffic light standards bounced and that always freaks me out. I had to stop at the store. Cat food and coffee creamer are big copy in my home and I was nearing empty on both. My aunt did family day care for decades and she had a saying that would make most misbehaving little boys pause: "If you don't stop that, I'm going to snatch you bald-headed." I know the feeling. And I don't like my hair mussed up. This morning as I walked, I had mainly very black thoughts as I passed downed trees, many window screens torn from homes, tumbling trash cans and various other distasteful flying objects. I learned on the news that small, private aircraft were overturned and a carport roof was torn away in an apartment community. Some Las Vegas-y attention-grabbing event scheduled for 8:00 this morning was expected to be cancelled. If the girls still wanted to sky dive in their bikinis, that was one thing. But it was deemed unsafe for the aircraft to be airborne. Justin said it best: "Imagine. Bikini tops and bottoms and half naked girls flung all over the valley." Have I mentioned I am sick of it? Sick to death of it? Literally almost ill from it? It's now been 36 hours. It's about the same as 36 hours ago, although some brief periods have been more tolerable.
So what shall I do with myself, because I'm fairly in a snit? Mr. Insomnia crawled in with me at 1:30 this morning and never let me slide from his loving embrace. Someone hacked our bank account number at work and created several fake checking accounts with their names (multiple entities, multiple names, multiple IDs given) and our account number. One even had our logo and company name replicated, and a very good rendition of David's signature! Yes, Wells Fargo Bank is behaving in a very helpful way and, thankfully, the rotters didn't hit us for nearly what they could have, had they been higher achievers. But the inconvenience has been staggering. No checks, no credit or debit cards for 10 days to 2 weeks. I may need to pay one week of payroll in cash. I have three - count 'em - posts in draft form that I can't complete. They're painful, each for a different reason. I've invested too much in them to hit the delete button, but I avoid them studiously because they hurt.
Here's my plan. Tomorrow night is the 2-hour massage. I'm going to wave good-bye to David Saturday and take the wheel. Last May, he and his wife booked a Mexican cruise to celebrate 5 years of marriage. Remember that nasty little illness we first called swine flu? The cruise was cancelled. They're going for their 6th anniversary now. While David's away, I'll start the e-mails to plan my girlfriend-visit trip away. I've hung home too long! But before that, I'm going to the desert. I'm going to the place that has a convenient parking lot, so I can just pull up. I'm going to the place where I went in the winter and did my DIY primal therapy, screaming at the heavens and throwing fiery balls of my anger off the planet. I'm going to the place that will be replete with cactus flowers and horned toads ~ I know about these things. For in this place, at this exact time of year, in the year I was 52 . . . the cactus flowers were abundant and I held 52 horned toads in one sunny hike.
And, now, the Kass Birthday Grand Finale. Tag just kept spinning birthday joy after I'd stopped checking my e-mail box. Here is what he spun for Kass starting with my lame 4 lines and continuing with brilliance:
The lovely Kass, so fair of face,
Exudes a state of natural grace.
But while she shares with us a grand felicity,
There's also that spark of raw electricity.
An accomplished young lady of many phases;
A heck of a poet, she has a way with phrases.
Her home is Sugarhouse, I believe that's Utah.
Is there really such a thing called a Hoppy Taw?
Very crafty! I've heard she redoes the undone and
shoots strangers in restaurants without a gun.
A dangerous hobby, it sounds to this friend,
but she's just keeping up with the latest trend.
Time to end my contribution. It's getting late.
Great idea, friend Limes, on a way to celebrate!
Friend Kass, you are loved by many, it's clear.
So lets do this again same time, next year!
In my ears right now:
Something that charmed me: I don't feel too charmed, actually. But I'll find something . . . OK, here we go. I let my post sit in the box overnight, even though I was pretty sure I was done. When I re-read it this morning it pointed out to me that there are reasons I'm not feeling all that charmed and I do have a plan to change the dynamic. One step forward. Then another one. Do it again. And I remember that the last time I went to the place of primal screaming, fireball hurling, cactus flowers and horned toads, I returned cleansed. It's lasted a long time. I just need to go get another dose.
Some photo credits: J. D. Morehouse