On ennui, dog pounds, memes & Las Vegas

humor, miscellaneous, writing

I haven’t undergone any major epiphanies lately, sorry. Life’s been much of the same, nothing to gripe about really, but I’ll try anyways. Somewhat isolated out here in the gentrified desert, bouts of self loathing, a little road rage here and there, some brooding and wallowing, lots of coffee, rereading of Byron’s letters volume 3, an occasional Xanax to calm my idling nerves, lots of television (regrettably?), the cooking (amazingly well as usual),
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hiking with dogs a lot, riding of horse less than is my custom….etc.Sounds quite nice though doesn’t it, I work hard to remind myself of how nice it is, harder than I should sometimes.

first-world-problems-memeI hadn’t played tennis in a couple of weeks because I broke my strings on all rackets and it took me forever to get them back, also there is a hole in my tennis shoe :(, also because my hitting partner is ignoring me and I haven’t a suitable substitute. It’s hard to be very good at something where an equally good partner is required. Poor me.

imageSomeone asked me why my blog is so sort of “me centric”, asked why I don’t share more of my strong opinions about things that matter. The tone was markedly disdainful but somewhat masked by a compliment towards my “whimsical” writing style. As I am presently endeavoring to be more tolerant all around, I contained my knee jerk eye-roll and indulged, to some extent, the obnoxious querist. Firstly, I am not publishing a gazette here, it’s a “public diary of personal reflections”, it says so in the subtitle. As such, its primary function is to be all about me. Why? Is justification or cause needed for being somewhat self-involved? Ok. I am keeping record of my innermost thoughts so that in some far off future my brain can be reconstituted as a computer, with robotic reanimation and eternal life being the ultimate end goal of course. Also I don’t write a lot of opinion pieces about current events etc. because I mostly don’t give a shit, or don’t want to have to educate myself thoroughly enough on any meaningful subject in order to be able to critically write about it. A daily cocktail of ennui, apathy and sloth informs my creative efforts and outputs. Plus I wouldn’t want to make an enemy of The Atlantic, I don’t have a death wish. Additionally, Mark Twain said to write about what you know. Well all I really know is myself and my life, so I write about it. Is it indulgent to incessantly rant and rail as I do, sure, but is there a place better suited for this activity than a WordPress site, fashioned like a blog and read only by the hapless few who Google-search the word “slap” and are erroneously guided to my humble internet cubbyhole. Nope.

I spent Saturday at the Maricopa dog pound going through a two and a half hour volunteer orientation. I don’t know why I hadn’t gotten started with this years ago, I’ve thought about it plenty ever since I got my dogs from that very same pound. Wait I do know, being at the pound makes me very very sad, but I think I’ve wasted enough time choosing my peace of mind over whatever relief I can offer these dispossessed animals. I have chosen the necessary job of cleaning cages and tending to the needs of the animals on the Euthanasia list. I think I can do most good there, as my people skills are unpredictable at best. Adoption counseling and picture taking would go over easier on my nerves no doubt, but not on my conscience.

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My infamous intolerance though did flare up during this “orientation”. As I sat there for a miserable 2.5 hours, all I could think about was the utter inefficiency of their process content wise. The two women leading the orientation talked and talked and talked, spinning endless, irrelevant tales and anecdotes about their personal experiences, their dogs, families and their shelter related career paths, with an occasional, seldom bit of pertinent information sprinkled in. It was so tedious and pointless, that I had to completely tune them out half way into the presentation. shut-upAdditionally, although I know they are just eccentric, well-meaning sort of folks, I became deeply irritated with having my time thusly wasted by them. People, like myself, who drive up to 1 hour one way with the singular purpose of acquiring practical knowledge necessary for a specific task, needn’t be held hostage in hard plastic chairs for over two hours by two women who just want to talk about themselves. Amidst the blather I started composing on my phone a biting but constructive anonymous email, addressed to the two of them, about the virtues of time management, efficiency and conciseness. Writing out my frustration in this way helped stifle my ire and I found the willpower not to send it just then. This is probably for the better, since they both were/are, I am sure, lovely, warmhearted people, better in fact than most for having devoted their lives to helping the world’s four legged orphans. I had to center myself, remember my newly minted tolerance mantra, recite it and just sit there like a fidgety statue flipping through Koala memes on my phone.

54215728On a better note, I am going to Vegas next weekend, this is mostly exciting because I get to see my most adored friend Anna from whom I am otherwise separated by 400 unbearably long miles! I am driving myself, which is a loathsome development, but the trip is so spur of the moment that I can’t justify the criminally inflated rate of flying. It is a robust 5 hour drive, which with my tiny bladder makes an 8 hour drive, and I am dreading it already. I am counting though on an exceptionally fun time there to counterbalance the 5 hour volunteer training session at the dog pound that is scheduled for the day after my return. Most certainly handling dogs on the Euthanasia list will turn me inside out and upside down, but I have to say I really look forward to helping and being of general use to them. I have been feeling more and more as of late, that the meaning of life has fallen outside my purview, I’d like to urgently restore it to its usual place inside my shiftless soul.

And, as always, I’d like to say that I miss my childhood and my grandma…and those pink pants. But mostly my amazing, beautiful, brilliant grandma, from whom I got all that is good in me.

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The many things I wish for today.

miscellaneous

“I wish finding likable people with whom I could socialize and build history wasn’t such a Cyclopean feat. That’s right, I said Cyclopean.”

You might be thinking, what does that horse picture have to do with this post? Nothing. It’s just a cheap ploy to get your attention, as often my illustrations are in fact.

Some days, amazingly, I don’t really feel like externalizing my vibrant inner monologue. On these days I just want to blend into the desert scenery, become a part of the landscape, disappear into a gerbil hole. But I am not a cactus or a gerbil, so I resign myself to eating tons of candy (has anyone seen those giant M&M’s called Megas? Incredible) and making lists. Here goes.

I wish my hair would quit growing, cutting it really puts me out.

I wish I could understand the attraction of Twitter & Instagram, but I fear I am falling behind and modernity is no longer in my purview.

I wish I could write plot as well as I can write emotion and dialogue, then I could identify myself as a writer & not just a writer type. But no such luck.

I wish I could mourn less those moments passing or passed, and celebrate more the moments yet to come.

I wish the hint of sadness which resides perennially in my heart would vacate its chambers, and move, preferably out of the country. I hear France is nice this time of year.

I wish people didn’t assume my boobs were fake, it really bothers me, because I really can’t stand breast implants and women who get them. Sorry women, not sorry.

I wish pointed words made themselves readily available when I need them, and not 3 hours later when I don’t.

I wish memory was a trustier, less precarious component of my intellect.

I wish Santa Clause was real and cancer wasn’t. I know that’s a bit reductionist. The heart wants what it wants.

I wish desiring and possessing weren’t mutually exclusive.

I wish finding likable people with whom I could socialize and build history wasn’t such a Cyclopean feat. That’s right, I said Cyclopean.

I wish syrup was a constant table side accompaniment like salt or pepper.

I wish once a month my uterus didn’t have to undergo such tremendous discomfort.

Blogging for affection..or..How to avoid the cat vomit curse!

humor, writing

IMG_7311.PNG if it’s not entirely obvious, I am new to the blogging endeavor. My original intention was to write for myself and for relief. I am afflicted, like many others I’m sure, with the trouble of excess thinking. Blogging presented an attractive avenue for relieving that pressure in my head, which gets built up by thoughts, feverishly multiplying with no regard for the spatial limitations of my dainty, girly cranium. Blogging whatever, whenever, but on a daily basis, seems also like a good writing exercise and a fun distraction not without therapeutic value.

Furthermore, I had devised a theory, that blogging every day could be a gateway mechanism to writing every day. It is simple enough right? To date, my creative process has been exclusively governed by fickle caprices of inspiration. I have been wholly at her frantic whim. What better tactic is there for revolt, than the establishment of a writing routine. If I could only form a daily ritual of writing, develop a habit, then maybe I can be free from inspiration’s mercurial clutches and finally finish that cursed book I’ve been writing for over five years. This was the plan, it was a good plan, until I started receiving the occasional “such & such has followed your blog” email. Those I did not anticipate, neither did I foresee the regrettable effect they would have on me. Suddenly I am confounded with the shameful realization that I want more of those emails. I thought I wouldn’t care about that element of blogging, the audience, but in all honesty, I find that I do. It has come as a surprise. It runs quite contrary to my Misanthropic conformation, presenting with the potential for a full-fledged identity crisis. Oh ok, ok, so I am exaggerating, not a full-fledged crisis, I am not that brittle, but it is very troubling. I now seek the approval of strangers?! Is that a pig soaring through the atmosphere?!

Suddenly I find myself concerned with such things, as whether the randomness of my writing runs counter to my new ambition of having/gaining readers, readers who “Like” “comment” and generally participate. Do I need to pick a lane? What is my ambition exactly anyways? Do I want all the readers I can get my hands on or do I want to reach and resonate with those who are most like myself e.g. the misanthropes, the misfits, the over thinkers, the creatives, the hermits? Trolling around WordPress this past week, I have found that lots of bloggers talk about the importance of a consistent blogging tone and subject, they even apologize to their readers if ever they opt to change their writing style. God knows that won’t and can’t be me. I will always reserve the right to unapologetically rant about whatever, whenever, however. Does that mean that I won’t be successful at finding an audience? Oy. Additionally, I wish bloggers who are about some kind of marketing, SEO or otherwise, would STOP “Following” me. I will not follow them back or subscribe to their services. It is a deceptive and intrusive practice and I completely hate it after just a week of my stay in the Bloggisphere. It is SPAM!

Bottom line is, if you read to this point, then obviously you find my prose irresistible, so you have to “Follow” my blog, OR ELSE….or else your cat will get a serious case of upset stomach and throw up partially digested mouse parts all over your house. A pungent stench of catguts will indelibly permeate your residence, forcing you to move out and decreasing the value of your home by at least 40% from its current market value…..or worse, rendering it entirely unsellable. That would be a real shame wouldn’t it? No one wants that to happen to you, less than I. ;P

 

On Sanity & Proximity

humor, writing

Proximity over Sanity? or The day I got yelled at and cried like a baby.

It became apparent to me today that I have traded my sanity for proximity. I want to warn you, in terms of entertainment value, this post is about as effective as a flat tire.  I don’t really want to burden you, reader, peruser or scanner, with the minutia of my daily life, but in this instance, it can’t be helped, as it is I who needs to unburden. And just as a disclaimer, I’d like to add that I too hate blogs where people discuss inconsequential occurrences in their day, like they are some universally relevant and relatable events. Be warned this thing falls under that peevish category.

To preface, I am a dedicated equestrian. I board at a facility with the unique advantage of extreme proximity. It is located no further than 4 miles from my home, which really means it’s magical. If you are not keeping your horses on your own property, and don’t live in the country, then you know what I mean, a centrally located barn is like the Chupacabra of the equestrian world. Furthermore, mine is reasonably priced, which is a miracle! So it’s both, magical and miraculous.

This barn’s inhabitants are an eclectic band of people and horses. It is overseen by two women, who live on the property, or quite literally in the barn, as they lodge in a structure attached to it. If one of them wasn’t big and the other one small, and if they didn’t have a gap of a few decades between them, they could quite literally be the same person. One owns it, the other one runs it. Both are about as hospitable as a flu, and entirely devoid of restraint, with a habit of raising their voices on a dime. I have learned from a few experiences here, that they are like hot skillets, as long as you don’t touch them, you’ll be ok….unless somehow one lunges itself at you of course (as it did at me today), then you are, quite frankly, fucked . The other trick to surviving here, in this viper’s nest of estrogen, conceit, gossip and bad manners, is to stay away from mostly everyone. Which is fine by me, since I am, by my own admittance, a bit of a misanthrope.

I try my best to be invisible, which is not hard, except that I am quite tall ;P. I don’t socialize, don’t partake in the chatter; and, since I am a night owl, I ride late and mostly alone.

Now to the meat of the matter. My horse’s stall is barely getting cleaned. In all the time me and her had been together, she had never been in a stall so disgusting or so menacing to the health of her feet. I don’t complain, this is not a barn where complains do anything other than come back at you in the form of tongue lashings. I try to do what I can when I can, and ward off abscesses with positive thinking.  Last night, I came to her around 8pm and noticed that the entirety of her feet was sunk into a swamp of waste. I got her out, worked her and, come 9, it became evident to me that I had to try and remedy the state of that stall. I got in there with one of those huge buckets, ruined my shoes and my clothes trying to muck out the mess and drain the soupier areas. I did the best I could in the dark. Having filled the bucket I realized that moving it was way beyond my physical capabilities. I did my best pulling it out of the way, reasoning that the stable hand, the guy who is supposed to do the mucking, will deal with it in the morning, using his god given male muscles. Now, it wasn’t something I readily expect of him, but he was my only option. I give him extra money rather frequently, we have a very friendly relationship. I intended to give him my profuse gratitude next time I saw him. Then I went to the giant pile of shavings and filled one poultry wheelbarrow, the cost of this action had been quoted to me at 20$ per wheelbarrow just 2 weeks ago when I used the shavings trying to yet again wrangle the sludge. Anyways blah blah blah, I did my best and left.

Today, first thing I did upon arrival at the barn, was I find one of the two governing bodies mentioned previously, shared with her my experience of muck in the dark, told her that I will, of course, add the cost of shaving from last night to my board check and asked if she had any ideas for a permanent solution. I assured her that I am willing to pay extra, if she feels that my stall is an extra bother, as long as it gets the attention it needs. With these people, I’ve realized, if you want something, you have to let them think it’s their idea. But moving on, yes, although it is already their job and responsibility to keep the stall clean, I offered extra money, in order not to let them think that I feel they are not doing their job. This story is getting too long even for me.

Following the conversation with the larger lady overlord, the other, small one, came up to me some half an hour later. The hot skilled was flung. Her exact words were:

“If you EVER leave a bucket full like that….

Me: “I am sorry I couldn’t move it and there was no one around to help me, I hoped M**** would move it in the morning, I dragged it away as far as I could..”

Her: “Well of course you couldn’t move it, and you shouldn’t expect anything of M*****”

Me: “I am pretty sure I already don’t, given the condition of my stall..and also I didn’t expect anything, I found myself in a unique situation, I misjudged my strength, there was no help. I knew M would do me the solid of taking care of it in the morning, I intended to thank him profusely, it was a singular occurrence, I didn’t mean any disrespect”

“ALL you do is disrespect me…!!!!!!!.”

“Huh? all I do?  disrespect you? What in the world are you talking about?! I am quiet as a mouse here, I have nothing to do with you and you never even see me”

“You try to come here and do these things when no one is looking at night…..”

“That’s ridiculous! Are you joking? Who says things like that to another person? I ride at night, I happened to see her in distress last night when i came just for a visit….”

“In distress? this is how it is for her every night..”

“Well then there is the problem!….”

She was beyond condescending and insulting. This senior, but quite sprightly, quite scary, lady was yelling at me, yes yelling, accusing me of what can only be described as underhanded behavior, like I am some thief, skulking around in the night, doing unseemly things when no one is looking. It’s asinine. My only, and singular concern, is always the well being of my horse. Tears started pouring down my face. It’s a real inconvenience, it makes me feel weak, plus I can’t see that well :P. I was emotional to a fault here, partly because the injustice was so great that I did not know how to address it. It was a full fledged assault on all that is my dignity. How do I respond? …. what do I say to accusations which are over nothing and based on nothing? It’s like adult bullying, I imagine if adults came at other adults with the intent of bullying them, this is how they would do it. Accuse someone of a scummy, intentional transgression, when the accused is, oh I don’t know, partaking in some innocent pastime, like feeding a hungry squirrel in the tree..or breathing.

The other reason for the tears was that I really could only respond with half of my conviction. And that’s incredibly hard for me, being as I am quite equipped verbally speaking. I had to swallow my words, whole sentences even, because despite everything, I am not ready to part with that god damn precious proximity

 If you read to this point, let me know in a comment, because congratulations, you are a paragon of patience. I would like a chance to properly applaud your steadfastness. Even I got bored with myself. Like I said earlier, writing this kind of thing is a bit of a crime. But it’s mighty cathartic! Maybe the fact that I Illustrated it with a scenic photograph will mitigate your disappointment, when I tell you, that there is no pay off. This is it. My horse lives in poo, I tried to fix it, ruined my shoes, got yelled at by a paranoid curmudgeonly old lady, cried like a baby, protested the injustice, went home and wrote a monster of a blog about it. Shoot me…with a marshmallow gun, I bruise like a peach.

Update: If you want to know what happened just a few short days later, please read: Revolt, escape, freedom..or..Reclamation of Sanity! I promise it’s riveting, life changing even. Dang, I’m such a liar. 😛

About me

humor, writing

I wage war on alarm clocks and men who wear tank tops, because I care about my sleep and my eye sight. I like confident people who are guided by reason interlaced with passion and kindness, there are fewer of these people than one would imagine. I am entirely unavailable in the mornings, very churlish when cold and extremely dangerous when hungry, the rest of the time I am an absolute delight wrapped in a ray of sunshine, smothered with awesome and sprinkled with glee. I believe in “Live and let live” and am a hyper vigilant defender of people of alternative sexual orientations and lifestyles. I like to reside close to hospitals and police stations, as I am highly susceptible to raccoon and squirrel attacks, an occasional disgruntled bird too. But it’s ok, they are just jealous. The way I eat candy you would think I owned a dentist and an insulin pump. I am a roller-coaster riding enthusiast, a recovering label whore, a freakishly clean slob, a humble snob and a walking contradiction. I have a dirty, politically incorrect mind, but cannot stand vulgarity or tactless foot in the mouth blurbs. I am seldom (very)drunk, never mean, sometimes snide and always honest. Though my taste is great, I can be an acquired one myself. I like to think that I am never tacky, but I know I am often impatient..and frequently snarky…sometimes I can’t help it but rhyme, therein lies a definite crime….and yes I am always right, except for when I am wrong of course, which is never. I fish out every bee that lands in the pool and cordially move disoriented snails out of harm’s way. Insects think I am a deity and hold weekly revelries (orgies actually) in my honor. I try not to eat animals, because animals are both, innocent and important. Nature is important. Cigarettes are bad, as are drugs and rock’n roll. Oh, calm down, I am just kidding, drugs are great. I like to think deep, look close and travel through time with only a carry on and an endangered marsupial known as Yoohoo (see photo above). I am usually a mermaid, except for when I am an intergalactic battle girl…or awake.

if you feel you must reach me, like say to give warning of an impending zombie apocalypse, you may email me at tennispenguin@yahoo.com