Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What is it About the Laundromat?

Yesterday was Memorial Day, so I did what any god-fearing 'Murican would do. I did laundry. Because nothing says "Thank You to those who Serve" like clean socks.

My method of doing laundry is this: I never sort unless I have a brand-spankin' new never washed before red item. Everything gets dumped into two washers with as little ceremony as I can muster. After it is all washed, everything gets shoved into one dryer. When everything is dry, it gets crammed - unfolded - into my laundry bag. Then I bring it home and fold it anywhere from immediately to two days later. It gets put away. Eventually.

This is apparently not the "done" thing when it comes to laundry.

Over the past few weeks, I've been watching how other people do their laundry and it is kind of fascinating to me. Whether people come in with huge loads or just one, I've noticed a trend. Instead of handful of items being shoved into the washer willy nilly, each individual item must be taken out, inspected, shaken out if it crumpled into a ball, and then gently tossed into the washer. Each individual item. Even socks. The method is then repeated with the dryer, and then with the folding process.

People spend hours in the laundromat fondling the clothes they bring in. Don't get me wrong, I like clothes, they keep me warm in the winter and from being arrested in the summer for public indecency. But generally speaking, I don't fondle them. Because they are clothes. Things. Nothing of importance in the grand scheme of things. They come in to your life, they go out of your life. Replaced by other things.

I'm not judging anyone's way of doing laundry. The end result is clean clothes and everyone's thankful for that. I guess it just leaves me mildly amused and curious. Does touching each bit of clothing bring back fond memories of the past week? Of the significant other or child it belongs to? Does it awaken a yearning for something else you'd forgotten about? Does it ground you to this time and place? Does it remind you that this person - the one who wore those shorts on Tuesday - belongs to you? That you are someone, that someone depends on you? Are they thinking about all the work that went in to each individual item, that someone very far away labored for an exceedingly long time in deplorable conditions to bring them that Nascar t-shirt?

This is the famous Lady Diana dress from back in the '80s, on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum. I took this pic back in 2009 when I visited England. I would lovingly fondle this dress all day long. It would get weird and uncomfortable.

And what does it say about me, that my clothes (with one or two expensive/delicate exceptions) get shoved hither and yon?

I don't know the answers to any of these questions. I just get really bored at the laundromat. And maybe that's the answer to all of the questions.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

I Just Realized my Last Post Was a While Ago, and Holy Frak Where is this Time Going?!

It's been fairly quiet this week in my life. Just got my head down, going to work, trying to get outside and take walks and freaking out about my performance this coming weekend.

You know, the usual stuff.

Memorial Day weekend isn't much of a holiday weekend for me. I actually picked up a shift at work today and the odds are high I'll go in a do a few massages before the day is over. So I really only have one day off... tomorrow. And I need to do my usual Monday chores so nothing really different for me here. S'okay though. As much as I may need something different to happen in my life, I'm still going to need clean clothes.

But I guess as it's Memorial Day I should do the done thing and thank those who chose to serve, because lord knows you don't want me on the front lines of anything. So thanks all for stepping up and doing what those of us back here can't do.

Meanwhile, if you need to find me, I'll be in my costume closet sobbing and wailing "EVERYTHING SUCKS AND WHY CAN'T I SEW?!?"

That skirt? An XXL Men's t-shirt from Wally World that I hacked up. For reals.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Again with the Dog-Gamned Stories.

It seems like The Universe has really been testing me the last couple weeks with old stories that continue to be dredged up from the Deep Dark.

Man, I hate those stories.



This latest story to get dredged up is the tale of Why I Never Ask For Help. It is a woe-is-me tale where the world is conspiring against me. As all of these stories tend to be. Basically, it goes something like this:
Once upon a time there was a little girl named Bernadette* who learned never to ask for help because every time she did no one was available to help her, or was too busy to help her, or said they would and then bailed the last minute leaving her to do it herself. So she just started doing everything herself to save herself the hassle and hurt of constant denial. It got to the point where she only asked for help if she were in dire straits, and of course she was again shut down because that was what she expected. So eventually she stopped asking for help altogether. And when someone told her "it's okay to ask for help" she angrily thought to herself "yeah, remember that the next time I ask for it and you turn me away and then wonder why I get so pissed off."
*Name changed to protect me
Boo-freaking hoo. I've been struggling with the inner Negative Nelly monologue with this one A LOT. It's really difficult to let that monologue and negative self-fulfilling prophecy go when you're mired in another situation that seems to justify every reason you have for that story.

But letting go of the negativity and the hurt and anger is really the only way to get out of this cycle. Like attracts like, so if you're already under the assumption you're going to get treated a certain way, that's the way everyone is going to treat you. Change the inner dialogue, the outer conversation changes. It's really that simple.

On a somewhat related subject, I really need a vacation from all this psycho-babble work I'm doing. My head's about ready to explode.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!

First of all:

GREEN GRASS, Y'ALL. We were all beginning to think it wasn't going to happen.

For my birthday today, I found a new hiking trail within walking distance of my place. How blessed am I that I scored this truly gorgeous Spring day for my birthday?!

I passed by this trail for a couple years and always thought it was on private property. Big sign = public space!

Cameras never seem to adequately capture just how steep things are.

We even have flowers now in Vermont. YES.

Guardian of the Trail...

... and he has the battle scars to prove it.

Short me, tall trees

It's that time of year where you look at the leaves, blink, and look again only to find they've doubled in size

I may bend from the forces around me, but I'll always bloom!

The end of the hike. From where I'm sitting, 40 is looking pretty damned good.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The End of an Era

Specifically, my 30's.

The clock is counting down and in just a few short days (very short days that seem to go by very quickly), I will be turning 40.


In my youth I was never able to picture myself as 20, let alone 40. On the one hand, I really feel it is no big deal. 40 isn't nearly as old as it used to be, say 40 years ago. I am still very much in my prime and frankly just getting started.

But on the other hand.... 40. I've officially reached the top of the hill. And we all know how much faster the downward roll is from here.

It means there is no doubt about it, I am officially a grown up. People learn that you're 40 and look askance at you when you haven't met their criteria of a successful middle aged person (Married? Kids? Decent paying job? Mortgage? Retirement Plan?).

I am extremely happy in my life. I'm living it on my own terms and how many among us can say that? I love my job, I love my family (if only they'd stop croaking goddam it). I can pay all of my bills (mostly) and I can greet the day with a smile knowing that I'm helping others and when I go to bed I am secure in the fact that I made some kind of difference.

But holy crap. 40.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Another Loss

I found out last night that one of my cousins died suddenly over the weekend of unknown causes. She was only 33 years old.

I remember when she was born. She was the cutest little thing, and I had no idea what to do with a baby (heck, I was only seven at the time). She was the oldest child of... honestly I forget how many but I think it was at least seven brothers and sisters, which is not common for this state. She cared deeply for each of her siblings and was like a second Momma to them all.

It is strange how this is another relative to whom I was not particularly close, but her unexpected loss was like a sucker-punch. 33 year old women in the prime of their life are not supposed to keel over and die.

I was speaking to my brother last night about this and we're both terrified about who the "3rd" is going to be. First my Uncle, now my Cousin... if you need me you can find me hiding under the bed.

So.... You Want to be an Artist.

For the last several weeks, I have been working through The Artist's Way . This book has been out since the 1990's and I've been...