Procrasti Nation

Why is it so hard sometimes to just start a thing? 


The amount of energy that one invests in not doing is usually many multiples of the motivating power it would take to just get it over with. But we don’t write the rules, even though it is often assumed that we have “chosen” to fail at or delay or give up entirely on the albatross that is the task at hand. 


So there you stand for hours, caught between the dragons of anxiety barring progress toward your goal and the ogres of expectation, both of whom will seemingly eat you alive given half a chance. And whoever it is that assigned you the task is bound to be angry or disappointed when you inevitably fall flat on your face. You have that future confrontation to add to the growing list of Dreadful Inevitable Things in your immediate future.


And, no, your friend or client or boss or partner or loved one will probably not understand, no matter how much they may want to. They will become frustrated and think that you have chosen to let them down. And this will keep happening until the people around you lose faith in you and you begin to lose faith in yourself. 


But then, maybe one day you’ll forget to be anxious and feel driven and manage to get something done again. Hopefully this goes on for a long time. Sometimes it doesn’t, but if you’re lucky it will.


And once you are getting things done, others will begin to rely on you again. They will have high expectations of you. And this will work out well for a while. Until it doesn’t, because the cycle has started all over again.


And you will think that all of this is your fault, because you’ve been told this so many times. And you will like you are a failure, or a let down, or an intrinsically bad person. 


So I am here to say, nope, you’re just a mild mannered human of the anxiety prone variety. And I think you’re fantastic, whether you get the thing done or not. 


Maybe today’s the day, babe. 


Monsoon Sonata

There will be rain at last. The parched desert floor and my sinuses are grateful. I am battling my lack of energy by engaging myself in more projects, both at work and outside of it. Hoping my life will get more well organized as a side effect. Some of it has to do with missing my father and grandfather, I think. They were undeniably smart and undeniably ethical and had character. Somewhere inside me I have that too, I am still that 19 year old would-be agitator, reading “I Rigoberta Menchu” and hanging out with radicals in the PCC basement cafeteria. I still believe there are differences to be made and battles worth fighting. But if I’m going to fight them, I’d just as soon do it in a monsoon downpour.

Categorized as Detritus

Indie Proverbs

Saw “A Serious Man” about a month ago and “The Box” last night. The gist of both stories being, basically, humans are fallible but Karma will still get us in the end…heavy underlying religious themes in both. What is with the sudden rash of indie film moral quandry mongering? Actually really enjoyed both films. When I saw “A Serious Man,” it was in a theater and the audience erupted in nervous laughter at the ending. It was much like that line in “A Day In the Life.” A crowd of people turned away…

Back on the horse again, but will likely fall off of said horse as per usual…

So, I signed up for WRT 102 for the third time in my life. Such damned irony. I was at one point going to be an English major and get a PHD and all of these grandiose stupid plans. I was going to be a writer. But my writer’s block always got in the way of the writing aspirations. Because fate has a sarcastic sense of humour.

WRT 102 attempt number one: Fall 1992. I actually aced the class this time. Loved the class. The teacher was, how shall we put it, colorful. She put a very multicultural, anti-colonialist spin on traditional American literature, I recall. I dominated many a heated debate in class. My letter grades were A’s. All was well.

But in order to get credit for the class, she required that our journal be 100% complete and there was, I think, one essay or so that I never quite got off the ground and I turned the thing in anyway. So she gave me an incomplete. and proceeded to go on a two year long sabbatical. I was told I could not get a complete in the class until the instructor provided requirements for changing my status. No one had an answer for what to do since the instructor was unavailable.

I gave up and singed up to retake the class in the Summer Session, but ended up dropping it to take something else, don’t recall my reasoning at the time.

Retook it in earnest in Spring of 1994. Honors level, this time, and again I was doing well. Then got a nasty bout of the flu and was out of school for two weeks straight and ended up dropping most of my classes, including that one. After that, I moved out of the house and out on my own and tried working full time while going to school, but could never quite get the hang of that.

The list of my dropped and incomplete coursework is about 36 credit hours long. I still don’t understand how I can have been so bright and so good at the college courses I actually manged to finish and yet so quick to give up entirely. I have about half of the credits I would need for a philosophy degree wit a minor in humanities, but still need a math, a science and stupid writing 102 to even get an official associate’s degree.

A fine representative of gifted education am I – one of the best educated Community College dropouts you will ever meet.

Now a year and a day after my father died, I am taking the stupid class again and trying to go back to school a tiny bit at a time. Trying to get my money under control, and keep my household managed and my children well parented. Trying to be a force of unification and responsibility at work. But I look at my college transcript online or the years old neglected debts in my mailbox, or my messed up teeth in the bathroom mirror and I wonder what the hell makes me think this time is going to be any different?

I am, by nature, a bit of a fuckup. Everything that I touch I am either effortlessly brilliant at or hopelessly faltering, and with a lot of effort I can pass for normal and average and well balanced, but my nature is that I am uneven. Clever, but sloppy. Well intentioned, but chronically behind schedule. Clumsy and susceptible to bruises and spills and the accidental breaking of things I didn’t quite know how to operate. Maybe I can’t help this and my efforts are heroic. Or maybe I just don’t try hard enough.

And the thing is, it FEELS like I’m trying. It feels like I’m trying so hard. But my Dad would sit me down for a lecture every couple of years about how irresponsible he thought I was. Not out of malice – I really think he thought it would help – but all it ever did was make me feel more helpless and failed. And now he’s gone, so matter if I ever finally graduate or get my affairs in order, so to speak, I suspect he left this world (even though we were on good terms) thinking I could do better and not knowing if I ever would.

And yesterday, on the fucking anniversary of his death, my significant other of 5 years spits out an angry diatribe about how I “always let him down” because I had spazzed a couple of things he had asked me to do for him. Pretty much gave me a lecture that echoed word for word a thousand verbal battles with my father when I was in high school/junior high and early college. And even though I think he was just irritated and prone to exaggeration, I thought to myself “See? I’m just like this. I can’t reliably live with other human beings unless I gave birth to them. ” and since then I’ve been curled up into a ball of exhausted despair.

My kids are gone for the weekend, so it is safe to go catatonic. I can’t talk to L. without bursting into angry tears. My mom wants to meet me for dinner, but I don’t know whether to tell her what a mess I am, although my face is all puffy and red and it’s obvious. Probably 90% of this is hormones and stress, lack of sleep, time delayed grief and simply not having had a weekend to myself in over a month.

The other 10% is seeing my damned transcript in black and white – a testament to my terminal lack of discipline and drive spanning the course of many years. I should be happy – most of my credits still count, some of them over 19 years old.

Categorized as Detritus

el día siguiente

Current mood:  contemplative

New Year’s Eve…somehow hadn’t got the spine for it this year.

I stepped into the cold parking lot of the neighborhood Denny’s for takeout hamburgers at 7pm in my leather jacket and plum Converse One Stars under an unexpected full moon. Spend most of the night curled up on the couch reading a book on my Android phone. At midnight, we watched Squidbillies and I drank a lonely glass of Bushmills Irish Whiskey and stepped outside to watch the neighborhood fireworks. New Year’s Eve, I was inexplicably melancholy and chilled to the core and felt like the world might end around me with its proverbial whisper. Could only think that next year would be better. Don’t know what it was. Well that’s not true. It was a lot of things. It was a REALLY LONG year. A quiet year. A year for loss and subtle change and disappearing by degrees.

This year is a year for building things and changing things and turning appropriate molehills into mountains. A year for not saying “no” just because it’s easy. A year for being, not simply observing…

Categorized as Detritus

It’s 10:45, I’m still alive, I’m still alive…

Haven’t posted much recently. Low energy mainly has caused me to lurk and be generally low outut. Apparently there was an internal cause that I missed – for all this. Low calcium (dangerously low) and then low potassium. Ended up in the hospital – same one I spent my 16th summer in (PTSD Details to be hashed out later) and barely avoided a heart attack or coma. Must take better care of myself, obviously. Want to be alive and productive and all that shite…Finally have internet at the hospital – yay! Want out of here ASAP! Vibes for calcium levels are cordially requested 🙂

Love a very pale and weary but determined Corbid.

Categorized as Detritus

Of Sunday breakfast, Hackintosh Envy and Ian Svenonius

I wake on a Sunday and my small children brag about how many bowls of cereal they can eat in one sitting. Apple Jacks. We went to the regular grocery store for a change, instead of the socially responsible grocery store. My vehicle is out of commission and beggars can’t be choosers. Listening to Rasputina on Rhapsody and wishing I had more money. I have been coveting a $399 Dell Mini “Hackintosh” netbook that keeps popping up on eBay – like I’m not using enough operating systems as it is. I am a Geek of all trades, master of none, and a fickle one at that. Egg salad on rye toast with licorice tea for my breakfast. Reading “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.” Finally getting around to watching “Heroes” on Netflix. Maybe going to see Ian Svenonius‘s new band “Chain and the Gang” on Wednesday, if I can hitch a ride with someone or other. I love the crap out of Ian Svenonius. Saw his last band “Weird War” a couple years back at Solar Culture and no one would go with me, therefore none but I witnessed the amazingness that was a Weird War live show. One of the best Tucson live music experiences I’ve had of the last few years, I shite you not. I realize that all of this was very very boring, but I have to get back in the habit of writing before by brain dries up in my ripe Gen X old age. I can’t afford, like, basic transportation expenses, but somehow have stumbled into all of this technology on the cheap. I am spoiled by secondhand capitalism. Grateful, but spoiled and tethered to the house like one of the Lotophagi from the Odyssey. I need to get out and live a little before my skeleton completely fails on me and my taste atrophies from neglect.

At the Safeway Deli, where choice is not king…

Me: I want a two piece chicken with potato salad for one of my sides and…
Safeway Clerk: No! You can only get the sides that go with the chicken!
Me: Ok, which sides go with the chicken then?
Safeway Clerk:You can only have the JoJo potatoes
Me: Then why does it say I have a “choice” of two sides?
Safeway Clerk: (Stares Blankly)
Me: Well, those don’t look very good. Could I get just the chicken?
Safeway Clerk: You could get an 8 piece of just chicken for $6.99
Me: No thanks. Um, can I have one of the “meals to go” maybe? The pot roast looks good.
Safeway Clerk: Those are cold, though, ma’am.
Me: Um, anyway you can heat them?
Safeway Clerk #2:I think we could use the microwave…
Safeway Clerk #!: No, those are supposed to be cold.
Safeway Clerk #2: You could always have the chicken meal, it’s hot and it’s really good. It comes with the JoJo potatoes.
Me: Never mind…

Categorized as Detritus

Gwenhwyfar lived to be old, Elaine did not…

…and the girls we once were float down the River to time and go under. Drowned, we all assume.

But then again…lots of unexplained, feminine looking, sword brandishing hands emerging from the misty waters in these stories…had to have come from somewhere, originally…it’s not as though they ever found the bodies…dead is not always so very dead in faery tales…

Strange dreams and disrupted R.E.M. Sleep as a direct result of bizarre Jungian reading material…

Found a copy of a book I read when I was 17 or thereabouts. I remember the gist of it, but none of the actual story.

Forgot what an esoteric MythoLiterary Geek I used to be…

I asked for an Oxford Unabridged dictionary for Christmas when I was 15 and improvised a TV Tray podium for it and the purloined single volume patent leather bound Complete Works of Shakespeare that I had snuck off the family reference shelf to read for fun in moments of idle brooding.

I used to keep a photocopied black and white portrait of Percy Shelley in my notebook the way most teenage girls pin up bubblegum idols. Ask Lizzie. Lizzie was way more Lord Byron. Coincidentally, or maybe notsomuch, Bowie around that time did a short film for the “Blue Jean” extended video in which he played a character called “Screaming Lord Byron.”

The fish ate Shelley’s face. That’s how he died, or rather he drowned in Italy, but by the time they found his body the fish had eaten his face. It seemed important to us at the time, but of course by then he’d have been long dead anyway…

Gratefulness: 7 things on a Sunday Morning

epona1)Listening to our local “pirate” radio station run by baby

2)Breakfast is hostess cupcakes and mexican dark coffee with cream on the porch with candles and incense and the Sunday paper. Dishes can wait…

3)We won, we won, we fucking won…I volunteered my time and $5 I couldn’t afford to a candidate that actually won! I kind of feel like a Timequake has occurred (apologies to K. Vonnegut) and the spiritual resurgence of Clinton era ideals actually makes me 19 again somehow. I feel like it’s finally safe to start my life over again and do things right this time.

4)Time is tight and money’s even tighter, but I am getting more resourceful by the minute. This morning, for instance, I have thrown a pot of beef stew in the oven for lunch,simultaneously lowering our heating bill and preventing wasteful takeout food spending. If it ever came down to it, I know how to make vinegar out of raw apple cider, for fuck’s sake, I got pioneer survival skills, I can certainly live without ordering pizza on a Friday night or two…

5)Spent this Friday night watching Jimmy Stewart movies with my 6 year old and eating white cheddar popcorn and leftover Halloween candy while my 11 year old wrote “littlest pet shop” screenplays in MS Notepad to be acted out with her sister later.

6)Got enough sleep for a change. I could have slept for years. I love it when the seasons change because in summer the daylight and the heat start seeping in early in the morning on weekends and you can never get back to sleep. The downside of our Arizona existence.

7)The depression I didn’t know I was in is slowly lifting. My mind is not blocked and I can write again. I feel like I can stand the company of other people again. My thoughts have time to drift again and it feels like the world will not suffer and drown for their drifting.