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Happy Canada Day - I think I'll sleep through most of it. One more night to put my dignity in a small bag and leave in the back room along with my regular shoes. Double double extra large? yes sir. Blueberry fritter? Certainly sir. A bagel? I didn't hear you order one, sir but I'm deaf, old and in a hair net so here you go, for free sir. Don't you feel proud and self-righteous too. And a chance to snub another human being just doing her job. Thanks for the attitude, sir. Canada Day is for assholes too.
How can one day live up to it's stereotype so consistently? Every so often it should be a great day, an exciting day and one to look forward to with breath held anticipation instead of certain dread at worst and cold indifference at best. Now I know there are people who will claim to love Mondays but I'm pretty sure these are the same people who still watch Sesame Street because they just love Cookie Monster and dress in overalls with flower appliques. And collect angel statues - the really cheesy ones made of that not really plaster stuff.
I know it isn't going to be the most mentally challenging job but there are so many small steps to each procedure, it will take me months to fill it all in. But so far there hasn't been a voice in my head saying this isn't the place. That is so unusual. In fact, if anything, the voice is saying it is happy here--don't fuck it up. I'm starting to worry about what might put my feet back on the street in two years - that's my limit usually, three at most (except for the at-home parent schtick).
Ah housework. Start out with so many good intentions, a great list and the conviction it won't take long to do this or that. Besides, the living room really does smell of cat pee around the shoes. Febreeze isn't doing the job anymore so time to pull everything out and find where dear little sweetums is marking her place in the world. And mop the floor and do the laundry and change the sheets on the bed. After a shower and reading the paper and emails. Facebook. MySpace and a couple of rounds of backgammon. Crap, what's for supper?
I'm still more chauffer than anything else. Trivia, chauffer comes from the fact in the early days of motor vehicles, they were powered by steam and the driver was the one that kept the boiler hot - chaud, en francais. We are all a little more improved when knowledge is shared, yes? Yeah, well, I like to learn little things because I love trivia. And bullshit. Sometimes I forget there is a difference. Driving from doctor to book store to library. More books than I can read in a year and a few more on hold. Don't tell Mark.
Another short day finding out how much has fallen out of my head in two days. Still, a lot is starting to stick and I'm not feeling as lost as I once was. Can't believe how much space this new job is taking up. This is not what defines us, work may add a dimension to life or a challenge. Last job was a challenge to maintain dignity and a lesson learned in seeing the person behind a uniform. Also what a uniform does. I've worn two in my life and I became lost behind the buttons each time.
Earn money and get an excuse to avoid social obligations little enjoyed to begin with. I don't drink a lot and so my entertainment is watching people getting totally falling down drunk and saying dreadfully witty things with minimal control of mind, mouth and ears - humans need to be able to hear what they are saying and to be sure, the brilliance is shouted at the highest volume so every nuance is caught by the waiting crowd of one sober me. Be polite and laugh. Usually I wish I could drink just so I didn't have to listen.
A day of rest. A day of reflection and looking within or just napping, another form of inwardly reflecting upon the inside of the brain and retreating from the world temporarily. It isn't exactly satori by the book but in this life a 10 minute nap is pretty much as close to nirvana as I'm gonna get without dieing. And I'm not ready for that step just yet. Doesn't seem like the way to solve problems yet. Hmmmm, now google is not only offering word count but analysis as well. Everyone is judging me these days.
An arena full of boomers on the cusp of turning to dust. The floor did not exactly get up and dance during the performance probably because a few of them still haven't mastered the frug with a walker. For once the sound wasn't too loud but then again, it could be a matter of being able to turn up the hearing aids to improve sound. Still it was a night of getting to watch a legend, to feel like I'm sitting in Mike Wallace's basement again in a room full of smoke from a illegal source.
It is starting to make sense. Wouldn't that be nice if it was for more than just what happens within the office. On the other hand, meeting people, talking to the public and feeling like I'm doing something and moving forward even if it is standing in one place while everything else moves past giving the illusion of motion. But it is much better than where I was at before. This is not stagnating in the same place, feeling worthless. I keep wanting to pull a Sally Fields, 'they like me, they really like me'. Keep moving forward.
Reality shows on tv and the only ones worth watching take place across the pond in another country. Can't understand a couple of them half the time and I'm usually pretty good with most English accents. Except for the thick east London 'whaat eva' that rattles evewfeengtovealak yah iffen yacan kep up wit, ya knouw. It is interesting, the people are more interesting, less self involved and manipulated with a lot more humour. I think the secret is they don't themselves as seriously, the tv culture isn't sacrosanct. All the Puritans left for the New World.
Back to the scene of a past life. Now it seems so far back, a different time, a different planet. Walking in it was just like being home again - knew everyone there and, oddly enough, there were no hard feelings. I wondered if I might be able to go back there again but after a few days of swollen ankles and sore fingers from nothing more strenuous than heat and a bit of house work, I know I made the right move. If I can figure this whole thing out. I know I can, it's a matter of patience.
Friday the 13th but it is a good day. A hot day so far and a party that will blow the diet. Looks like a whole weekend of saying what the hell, let's eat what we can and start again on Monday to do better, to try again to make a decent run all the way through to 25 pounds less than I am right now. Next pay day it's time to sign up for a trainer again and get that commitment happening to keep it up at the gym. It made a difference before, it will again.
Social setting and still out of place. Unshaved legs, t-shirt with a few cooking stains on it. A morning spent cooking and driving around the peninsula, helping, buying fruit, cider. Then hang out with people who spent the morning getting ready for the event. At least I got a prize for the ribs. Good ribs but I felt guilty for being a member of the executive and winning. It should have been a blind tasting just to make things a little more fair - to give the appearance of fairness, at least, for the one professional cook who felt cheated.
A family day, quiet and funny. Nice to have the girls laughing and joking with us. One is pitching in less and less but she never was a good one at helping out to begin with but it is a struggle now to get any help. Despite the positive vibes, still mildly aphasic and having trouble putting a sentence in from beginning to end in the right order. It happens now and then, if I don't write enough I get out of practice. It is a matter of putting the words in the right order, writing makes it easy.
A day off. See a movie and eat when it is over. No worries, no rushing to meet another schedule. It isn't right to enjoy and compare because that which happens with regularity has the disadvantage of familiarity. When something happens a few days here and there, it has the cachet of novelty but I know would quickly become tedious if done on a regular basis. There would be the loneliness of watching tv by oneself. Isn't it better to watch something you don't want to watch as long as you're watching it with someone else?
How long before the independent children reach a point of independence from having to be told to do things like clean up after themselves, take a turn at washing the floor and maybe even offer to clean the litter box. I know when we aren't around one of 'em picks up the slack but she won't keep it up much longer if she's the only one to do it. How do I motivate a teenager who is more like me than I care to admit. Especially when she shut everyone out as soon as any provocation occurs.
The days are starting to run into each other. There is routine but still surprises and a feeling of knowing I've seen it before but not what it is I'm looking at. This must be what the middle stages of dementia feel like - if you could actually be cognizant of what is going on in the middle of the fog. It is a process of living each moment as it happens and trusting you will be able to do what is expected as required. Trusting instincts is something all formal training works hard to eradicate. Think it through.
Again, what did we do? Why the grouchiness, the anger, the impatience and short temper. What terrible thing has your family done that you feel it necessary to flop around, stomp around and through the dishes? I did not marry an abusive man, I never saw anything in your nature to indicate a streak of abusiveness yet we tiptoe around for fear of setting off whatever it is that gnaws inside of you, twisting the springs, pulling the wires. Pipes are ready to break - cartoon bulge a clamp on one side and a finger plugging a hole on the other.
A walk on the wild side, a sip of wine and another. Savoring the play of flavours, an old delight coming back to me, the warmth spreading slowly and relaxing, glowing ever so slightly from within. A cheap drunk. I've always been open to being plyed with alcohol and only in recent years insist on certain degree of quality if only because I'm not supposed to drink at all so the forbidden fruit is doubly so and must therefore be sufficiently exquisite to risk the metabolic wrath that follows. Why waste time on cheap wine and bad beer.
A quilted silk smoking jacket, tasseled fez at a rakish angle. The firelight is echoed in the warm golden splash of brandy warmed in one shaking hand while the other waves about a cane to demonstrate just how he shot the last of the species - see , that head there on the wall, next to the portrait of 'muh-tha'. She was always so proud of her sons, too bad only one survived the wars. Watch out for the foot, blast you, damn gouty toe. Another splash? a little soda in mine. Now, where was I, ah, yes, them damn seepoys...
The beggars don't understand, y'know, not like in my day. Why h'ain't we allowed to run the devils off the road? - not like they could put up a decent fight - doubt they understand the word decent, running around in them spandex shorts showing off what God gave 'em like it was a badge of honour instead of the same plumbing we all got. And in my day women wore proper dresses and went head first over the handle bars when the hems fouled up in the chains. Knocked all that votes nonsense out of their heads.
It's been four weeks now since I spent a night shift in servitude, wearing a uniform and experiencing how people really don't see the person behind the "hi my name is...." tag. There are the ones that think themselves just so funny when they make a joke or try to cajole some special treatment - a two for one or freebie - saying a friend of theirs works at another TH in town, doesn't that mean they qualify for a staff discount. I didn't qualify for a staff discount, so why the hell should some drunken preppie creep?
My day is still spent according to the schedule of everyone else in the house. Drive her here, get supper ready now and make sure it's something that everyone else will like. It's my second job and I guess that's an improvement over when I've had 3 jobs, two of which weren't paid. Not to mention the weird sleep schedule where I really wasn't sure exactly what day it was or the time. I still can't sit in front of the tube and watch what I wanna watch. Apparently my shows are boring.
Run the maze, ring the bell, collect a peanut, repeat. Scratch on the right colour, get a peanut, repeat. Peck at the light, get a peanut, repeat. Watch the slightly more elaborate social experiments performed on large groups of fit, scantily clad young people playing a game on tv that requires them to live in close quarters with total strangers and run through various psychology experiments disguised as competitions for positive reinforcements that fit the token economy of the community, power, influence or credits for luxury food items. Howler monkeys react similarly to reality tv participants but with more dignity.
At long last the sun returns. Mood changes, laughter is a bit easier, fools suffered with a little less strain. There are so many fools and so little time, is tolerance really the answer or thinning the herd, free up more quality time for the fewer fools that remain. Some do add a certain amusement factor to the day and it can even outweigh the irritation factor that surrounds them. Just a minute, let me dial up the pretentious factor a bit - perhaps they do have their place, as long as they remember what it is and keep themselves there.
Friday. In our presumption, we give time a name as we learn of the movements of the world and adjust our small minds around the concept of motion through space, the span our lives take within the context of the planet's movement and in relationship to other tenants of the space - we live longer than flys but far less than trees. Somethings live longer or shorter, we have power over them to some extent and, in our wisdom, have developed the power to put an end to almost everything else that shares time as this rock moves through space.
First time on my own in the building, stay to the safe path and go through each step. Now I'm home and worried about what I've forgotten, what I've misplaced and how I'm doing - no, really, how am I doing? It's so hard to walk the line between positive feedback and whining. I don't want to give the impression I've been fired or had really bad experiences in previous work experience. On the other hand, I have had a few not so great jobs and it is bound to affect my self confidence.
Sharper than a serpent's tooth and no sense of irony. There's few things as acute as the sense of right and wrong held by an adolescent or as thin as the skin of same. Indignation is quick to flare and I am always in the wrong. This is my karma.
The sight a of pasta pot reminds me of listening to dad talking in detail while I barely listened about the one he ordered that didn't work. I would give a year of my life for another chance just to listen to him again for 10 minutes.
Laundry, loads of it, and buying toilet paper and driving Thing One to dance class and then Thing Two to her ranger's meeting then back to get Thing One and home again for a few minutes before Thing Two is finished early; other driver booked out with a couple of beers before the first round of driving began - and then could I pick something up to go with the nectarines and while you're up, could you slice the fruit because they seem to have gotten kinda bruised and mushy. Could you answer the phone on your way out?
Pretentious Complaint Alert
: I have gone through life with a pair of glasses perched in front of my face but now can't keep a decent pair of sunglasses for more than a couple of months. Just toasted my second pair of RayBans. I love them but I have had hamsters that lasted longer and take more abuse than these damn things. My husband will grind me with this forever if he finds out. And I can't face Russ for a new pair...On the other hand, he rings up another sale and a positive bank balance this month.
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