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I always think of that poem on June 1st. It's hurricane season and there's just no use trying to reason with hurricane season. We live in this tropical paradise knowing that half the year we will be threatened with ridiculously strong storms. Yet, we stay. Why? Because it's a tropical paradise. Who cares if the house is built upon shifting sands? It's a world class destination and we live here. Nevertheless, I've been spending a lot of time lately just thinking about selling this old house and moving somewhere else.
Damn, I'm in a mood. Have been far too long. It's mind over matter, I know that. If you don't mind, it don't matter. The problem is, I mind. I'm uneasy. The world seems like it's been turned upside down. The illusion of security is fading and we have paid dearly to keep that illusion alive. Politicians lie with impunity. The government is by the corporations, for the corporations and of the corporations. I'm cynical like most anybody who has been paying attention. When does the revolution begin and where do I sign up to be a part of it?
It was the third of June. Another south Florida day. I went to work and thought about the future. I've been doing that a lot lately. Monday is my turning point. Will I stay or will I go? With the way things are going, I'll be content to remain with the status quo and just go with the flow. I need to shake the tree. I need to get back on the bicycle and ride off into the sunset. Ever since I lunched with Holly this week, all I can think about is, "What is in the future for us?"
Cigarettes are so evil and sneaky. "One is too many and one million are not enough." So true. If I start smoking with friends, it's usually over drinks. One becomes two becomes three becomes a pack. And before I know it, I've gone out and bought another pack. I rationalize it all away by telling myself that I can make a pack last for a whole week. And then before I know it, I'm buying a pack every other day and I have to stop myself before I'm back in the store every single day buying another pack of smokes.
Clutter doesn't creep up on you overnight. It's inherited. Our culture encourages it. The eternal battle is the fight to keep neat. That's why I've always been envious of those folks whose homes look like something right out of a magazine. I knew even when I was growing up that our sensibilities about neatness and cleanliness were on a different level than most people. And lately I've noticed that people are not only neat freaks but they've also become bacteria phobic. Meanwhile, if we don't clean up this overstuffed house, we're going to end up on an episode of "Hoarders."
I watch too much TV. My day begins with TV news. After eight hours of work and dinner, I sit down in front of the TV for the rest of the night. That's at least 30 hours a week of a bad addiction. My addictive personality is like that. I need a new routine. I've slipped back into the TV rut and it's eroding my will to live! Okay, it's not that bad, but when I start to think about all the time I've pissed away lying in front of the boob tube, I get my knickers in a twist.
Homosexuality is such a complex subject and yet people want to make it into something black and white. And it will always be the exact opposite – different shades of grey.
People are people, so why should it be you and I should get along so awfully? Who was that? Depeche Mode? Yes, it was!
Depeche Mode. But, back to the point of being gay or not or whatever in between. WGAS! That's my favorite radio station - Who Gives A Shit! Thank you Helen for making up yet another winning memorable meme. You the best!
AIDS is an enigma. I lost a lot of friends. Yet, we're still here, some 33 years later and still High Vee Negative. We never got that strange form of cancer. We never came down with PCP and died. All our friends have been gone since the '80s. We experienced a dwindling of our circle of friends 50 years early. Anyone who didn't realize that the gay culture was nearly wiped out in the late 80s and early 90s wasn't paying attention. I almost don't want to admit that the world is so mediocre today because all the stars died.
I love picking up those little cards in Starbucks that let you download a free song from iTunes. It's the way I discover new music. Today I downloaded a lovely song by Eddie Vedder called "Longing to Belong." He plays the ukelele. The only other people that I recall playing that instrument were Tiny Tim and Bette Midler. I think I remember some avant garde guys playing in maybe a British band of whatever, but it's really pretty and I like it. There are about 20 songs on my list of downloaded songs from people I never heard of before.
One week from today I'll be in New Orleans. I haven't been there in almost 30 years. It will be a completely different experience than last time when I was in the Navy and went with three of my buddies and we all got arrested for smoking pot and my mother had to send money to bail us all out of jail and we got in double trouble because the Navy punished us again. That was one of the best benefits of military service - double jeopardy. Looking back, I see it was a life lesson learned the hard way, eh?
Routine Saturday - schmy around the house for awhile, get up, get showered and head out for a visit with Helly and a trip to Costco for gas 'n' stuff. I stopped at Publix before visiting and bought a pack of cookies. That made Helly really happy. The visiting nurse arrived and I took off for Costco. It was a whirlwind trip around the place and I was out in little more than an hour. I came back home and Raoul and I spent the next couple of hours cleaning the kitchen. This cleaning project was prompted by replacing the sink.
Saturday and Sunday are good days to do nothing. I love to lie about reading or napping for hours. Although the days have their obligations, the remainder is for pure relaxation. Whether I choose to do some early morning (or early evening) gardening, or to pick up some clutter around the house, the call of the bed is powerful. I lie down and nap. Saturdays and Sundays are perfect days for naps. I find that only impediment to my desire for snippets of rest and sleep are the demands from Raoul for me to be productive, but I'd rather rest.
Today, I was relieved to find out that my contract is to be renewed for one more year. This was after receiving my 10 year plaque. Why have I fretted each year over the renewal of my contract instead of just letting go? I have spent the last month filled with anxiety and worry over this day. I have played out different scenarios of what would be. Now that I know I am gainfully employed for yet another year, all I can think is that I must spend the next year trying to figure out other means of financial support.
I never was a big coffee fan. For most of my life I wouldn't drink the stuff. Nasty, bitter and what's the point? Then I married a Cuban! Ever heard of Cuban coffee? Cubans LOVE coffee. Every morning, my darling husband would make me a frothy cup of coffee that I learned to love. At first, I tried to resist but he was insistent on making me a convert. I learned that I do have a very low tolerance for caffeine so I can only drink the one cup each morning, but oh, how I look forward to that cup!
I'm on vacation from the factory. Seven working days away from the office. And I don't want to do anything. Well, I did whip the papers into submission today, shredding mercilessly for hours. Now I have two large black plastic bags filled with shredded papers that need to go into the recycling bins. Other than that, the only productive thing I did was pack my bag for departure tomorrow morning. I'm happy to lie around doing nothing but watching worthless TV shows and smoking too much. I'm taking it easy because I know four days ahead will go by quickly.
Traveling makes me anxious. There are so many rules and regulations. I didn't get felt up, but I did have to stand inside the naked x-ray machine. That was over in a flash. A two-hour trip through the friendly skies and we landed at the Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans. The adventure began! I couldn't believe how hot that city is. All I wanted to do was get to some destination so I could dry off in air conditioned comfort. Every time I was outside for more than ten minutes I was drenched in perspiration. Lordy!
New Orleans is a party city. People walk the streets early in the morning with fun alcoholic beverages. The homeless contingent is huge. The races seem to mix nicely, but there are a lot of dark faces. I heard Haitian creole spoken a lot more than I heard Spanish. The architecture fascinates, but the smells of the city are nasty, strong and unavoidable. Just walking around the French Quarter is enough to pass the time. A quick trip for cafe au lait and beignets was required to start the day. Later that night, the surprise party made the trip worthwhile.
Saturday in New Orleans felt much like any other day because it was all vacation time. We were in slow motion as a result of staying up late for a wild and crazy party the night before. Once again, just walking around the city was good enough. No agenda was necessary. Mindless meandering followed by afternoon napping. Later in the day, we were back on Bourbon Street (drinking) up on a balcony throwing beads to the revelers in the streets below. I really liked the party atmosphere in the French Quarter but the pungent street smells were a real turnoff.
It's sad to leave a vacation behind, but coming home can be so satisfying. Another eventless trip on American Airlines and we were back to a different kind of heat and humidity. The heat and humidity of my own home town is so much easier to tolerate than the scorching heat of some exotic location. I was glad to get back home even if weather delayed our departure. Sunday was a day to just relax and get in one last po' boy sandwich before heading to the airport. We literally just relaxed most of the day and then flew home.
This week I'm on vacation for three days. Those days will be gone before I realize it. I have nothing planned. Raoul wants me to do many things, but I intend to do nothing. Today, I will do some light housework followed by some intense napping. It's amazing how quickly a day of doing nothing can pass. I just spent four days in New Orleans and that went by in the blink of an eye. I thought about it for months, and now it's just a memory. It's a wonderful place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.
Another lazy day. I'm so happy. I know deep inside that the Judeo-Christian tradition frowns upon my behavior, but I'm happy doing nothing. I'm going to have a zero day and I'm going to be proud of it. Since the guilt is so strong, I did spend a little time shuffling through papers followed by a substantial amount of shredding. There is a lot of clutter in this house and I tell myself that I could chip away at it a little at a time. But this isn't the time for that project. This is the time to recharge.
I need to make a list. There are so many things that need to be done and I just don't know where to begin. Sometimes, a list can be a magical. Too much to do! So, I'm making a list and then I'll check it twice. I know that I've been naughty, but now I'll be nice. Half the year has passed, so now it's time to make my mid-year resolutions. The list is virtually identical to my new year's resolutions, because none of those has been accomplished. I need to become more resolute so I can move forward.
It's 7 a.m. and I'm in full awfulizing mode over going back to the factory after one week away. I wonder what fresh hell awaits. I tell myself that starting today, I'm going to walk at lunch time. I've started this habit so many times before that it isn't even funny anymore. But, if at first I don't succeed, I try again. And again. And again. I keep telling myself that I need a new routine, but the only way to create that new routine is to begin in earnest. Today is the day to start a new routine!
I'm watching Lady Gaga on David Letterman. I have seen her before on Ellen Degenneres, but I had forgotten just how eccentric she is. I feel like I have a unique perspective on Lady Gaga because she graduated from Sacred Heart in New York.
I work at the Sacred Heart. I just celebrated 10 years of working at the Sacred Heart. I understand why Raoul calls it the Secret Heart. I thought about opening a thrift shop and calling it the Secret Heart but I was afraid that people would make the connection and think it was a charitable undertaking.
I grew up believing that tattoos are for sailors and criminals. The new generation has embraced the tattoo and piercing lifestyle, and I don't care. I would never get a tattoo, first because of my lifelong beliefs and second because it's prohibited for Jews to be tattooed. I'm amazed at how good some tattoos have become. When I was growing up and only sailors and criminals had tattoos, they were crude commodities. Today they can be artistic and fashionable. I just wonder what's going to happened to all these tattooed kids when they grow up and it's no longer fashionable.
What the Brahma Kumaris taught me today:
One of the deepest habits we learn is interfering in others' lives. If you want to interfere in someone else's life, begin with acceptance, continue with acknowledgement, be empowered by appreciation and end in actualization. Only by making love practical in this way, can we heal our own habits of criticism, envy and blame.
Accept, acknowledge and appreciate. It doesn't mean you have to agree, comply or condone. The paradox is that we will receive the same in the process, not only from ourselves, as we become what we give, but from others.
On a roll. Yes, I love rolls and bread and butter and cake and pie and cookies and ice cream and pizza and fried chicken and sushi and steak and potatoes and hamburgers and french fries and milk shakes and creamy dressing and silky sauces and before I realize it, I'm extremely overweight. There's a word for it - obese. Yes, I am a fatty. I've always been chunky. There was a time when it was referred to as "husky." And then I grew up to be a big old lard ass. I'm on a strict diet for the next year!
Dentist time again! I've been putting it off for about a month already, but when I wake up in the morning already thinking about it, then I know it's time to do the deed. The last time I went for a cleaning, the dentist decided I needed to have one of my crowns replaced. I wonder what has happened to the price of dental procedures coupled with the lack of insurance. This little procedure is going to cost approximately $800. Of that amount, insurance will cover about $300 and the rest comes out of my pocket. It's a total scam.
Letting the days go by . . . I don't ever remember life being this routine, but I guess it's been that way all along. It's simply mind over matter - if you don't mind, it don't matter. But really, I've been doing a lot of lather, rinse, repeat and I'm wondering why it feels this way. It's because I've fallen into a deep funk and I'm finding it very difficult to get up. I guess this is what it means to grow old. I don't want to be a crabby old man, so I'm a-gonna work on my attitude! Life is good.
Stuff - I got too much of it. It's weighing me down. It's bothering me. Always on my mind. I need to free myself from cultural inhibitions and let it all go. I want to travel. I want to be free. Why am I so trapped? And how did I get this way? And how many more times can I write about my, me, mine? One hundred million, at least, probably. But, today I just count words. Did I make it to 100 yet? Today this is an exercise in how many times I can use "I" writing just 100 words.
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